Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 1Step 1: Wash and scrub the new teapot thoroughly with a clean, non-abrasive sponge that has never had soap used with it, and clear, cold running water. Clean out the inside thoroughly to eliminate any dust or fragments of clay. Do not use any type of soap or cleaning solutions on the teapot, either during the preparation process or later, after it has been put into use.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 2Step 2: Fill a large pot with enough cold water to fully immerse the new teapot and its lid, allowing at least an inch or two above the top of the teapot. Allow enough space that the teapot and lid will not be crowded during the seasoning. Gradually build the heat of the water to a low boil. After the water has reached a steady, gentle boil, carefully add the teapot and its lid into the pot, making sure that they are fully under water at all times. Leave the teapot and water on the stove at the same low boil for half an hour.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 3Step 3: Remove from the stove and pour off the water. Allow the teapot to dry completely, preferably on a rack that affords air on all sides and underneath. Do not subject the teapot to dramatic changes in temperature such as immersing it in cold water immedately after bringing the pot off of the stove and removing it from the recently boiling water.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 4Step 4: Fill the pot with the same amount of cold, clean water as in step two. Add a small amount, approximately 1-1.5 teaspoons, of the type of tea leaves you plan to prepare and serve with the new teapot. NOTE: Due to the highly absorbent qualities of zisha clay it is best to dedicate each individual teapot to only one variety of tea. The teapot will take on the character of the tea it has been married to. The teapot in this example is used for Yunnan black teas, so a small amount of Dian Hong was used for this part of the seasoning process.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 5Step 5: Bring the water with tea leaves slowly to a low and stable boil. The room will smell wonderful as the tea begins to unfurl and infuse into the water.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 6Step 6: Gently immerse the teapot and lid into the boilng tea and allow them to boil for thirty minutes. NOTE: Although cups were also included in the seasoning used for this example, you do need to be careful with putting too many items or items that are too delicate together during the boiling procedures. At such a low boil there is little to no crashing around within the pot, but do not take risks of breakage with anything tremendously valuable to you.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 7Step 7: Remove the pot from the heat and cover it completely. Allow the entire contents – teapot, lid, and watery tea – to cool and soak overnight.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 8Step 8: Carefully pour out the tea liquid from the pot. Pay particular attention to not allowing the teapot and lid to hit each other and chip or tumble out of the pot.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 9Step 9: Rinse the teapot thoroughly with clear, cool running water, again not using any sort of cleaning solutions or soap products.

Seasoning a New Yixing Teapot - step 10Step 10: Allow the teapot to dry completely. It is now ready for use as a fully functioning yixing teapot. Be careful not to allow it to contact oils or any caustic materials. As the teapot ages through use it will produce better and better cups of tea and will acquire the rich sheen of matured seasoned zisha clay.

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