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How To Season Yixing Teapot

Posted by Jessica Jacobson on
How To Season Yixing Teapot

How To Season Yixing Teapot That Won't Make Your Head Spin - A Very Simple Method

Before you begin brewing tea inside your Yixing teapot to enjoy a lasting tea infusion relationship, you will first need to season the pot.


Season the pot is a process of cleansing the teapot and have it ready for the first brew. There is an apparent hygiene reason to clean the teapot, but is it that simple?


Why Season The Pot?


Authentic Yixing teapot should have an earthy smell and nothing more. Suppose you happen to purchase a wax-coated teapot; in that case, you obviously need to get rid of the coating before using it. Consuming wax is not only unpleasing but harmful, and we should avoid such teapots as much as we can.


For a standard teapot, there might be white powder residue on the bottom of the teapot when you first bring it home. It’s nothing to worry about as it’s just quartz sand.

image source: zhihu.com

Quart sand is used to separate the lid from the body since it will potentially damage the teapot if the lid and body were placed separately into the kiln. To prevent the lid and body from being stuck together, quartz sand is scattered on the teapots.

image source: zhihu.com

When the Yixing teapot is all ready to go, quartz sand will fall onto the bottom. It could be an indicator that your Yixing teapot is genuinely authentic. Quartz sand is harmless, and a quick rinse will do.


When a Yixing teapot is seasoned correctly, it will not only clean the teapot but help enhance your first experience with your new teapots.
Seasoning teapots are just cleaning them, nothing more than that. Obviously, you should learn how to clean them properly, but rest assured that it’s nothing complicate and you won’t mess it up.



Important Tips To Remember


There are some crucial things to keep in mind. First, the purpose of seasoning the Yixing teapot is to get it ready for the use of brewing the tea of your choice. Since the beauty of the Yixing clay is that it infuses the tea oils over the years. This also means it will take on the flavor of anything brewed in it. Thus, it is essential to use clean, pure mineral or filtered water and a boiling pot that does not have food residue left inside of it.

Following are two different methods that work best to properly season your Yixing teapot. Whichever you choose really doesn’t matter. One approach is straightforward; another way is more complicated, not absolutely better, but some people enjoy a new teapot’s ceremonial welcome. This method works well for them.


When you place the teapot into a larger boiling pot, place a clean cloth to pad the boiling pot’s bottom or a clean, unused deep frying basket and bamboo or wooden tongs. Failure to do so might result in teapot cracking while bumped against the hard surface when water is boiling.



Seasoning Your Yixing Teapot - The Simple Method


Rinse your teapot under running water to get rid of any specks of dust or residues.
Fill the teapot with boiling hot water. Allow the water to sit inside the pot for about ten minutes. Drain the water out of the teapot by pouring it through the spout. Once you’ve filled the pot and drained it, you will need to fill the pot once again with boiling water. This time, add one teaspoon of your favorite loose tea leaves, being careful to only choose the type of tea you plan on brewing in the pot. Allow this water and tea leaf mixture to sit for ten minutes before draining it out. Remove the loose tea leaves, and your teapot is ready for use.



Seasoning Your Yixing Teapot - The Complicated Method


Again, rinse it inside out under clean water.


Prepare a clean boiling pot, and boil water in it. Ensure the water is filtered or bottled water so the sediment does not get inside the teapot. Use a slotted wooden or bamboo spoon or deep frying ladle that has not been used for food and does not contain any noticeable smells or stains. Use it to lower the teapot and the lid separately into the boiling water. Allow the Yixing teapot to rest on the deep frying spoon or ladle and avoid contact between the Yixing teapot and the boiling pot’s bottom. If they make contact, it will vibrate too much during boiling. Boil for ten minutes.


Remove the teapot from the water and placed it back into a new pot of boiling water with the same method above. After it’s been cooked for five minutes, turn off the heat. Now, it’s time to select a tea whose flavor you want the pot to absorb. Toss 3 times the amount you would usually use into the pot with the teapots still in it. Let them sit for 30 minutes.


When the time is up, let the teapot dry in a well-ventilated area. Now, the teapot is ready to use.


Seasoning Myth


There are obviously many myths surrounding the Yixing teapot. Many are harmless, just adds extra work, but some are downright lousy advice that can potentially harm your teapot.


Myth #1


Use tofu to get rid of the fire smell.
Some people believe that teapot can bring too much “fire” because it was fired at above 1000 celsius temperature. When I first read it, I thought they were joking; it sounded so much like an old wife’s tale. What is “fire” smell anyway? And what entails that tofu can get rid of it? There is no scientific evidence that tofu can have a chemical reaction with clay. Can tofu absorb some stuff? Potentially. Since Yixing teapot is exceptionally porous and takes in the smell of its content, imagine season teapot with tofu - how about a pot of tofu tea for the rest of its use? When there is some good tofu, make a tofu dish.


Myth #2


Use cane sugar to moisture the teapot.
I am very open-minded, so I don’t deny the possibility of its validity, but I yet to find scientific evidence to back this claim up. What does “moisture” a teapot mean? Does the sugary sweetness make the teapot less “dry”? Okay, I am kidding. This one just doesn’t make sense to me right now.

cane sugar in its original form.


Myth #3


Cook teapot as long as you can
Some people argue that new pot should be cooked in boiling water as long as we can. Still, you have to understand that new teapots are fired at above 1000 Celsius temperature; I don’t think boiling water will do anything. Worse, get a teapot to sit in boiling water for too long only contribute to the risks of cracking the teapot from the ranging temperature.

 



All in all, it’s really not that complicated. Ask any Yixing artist, and they will tell you it’s simple as rinsing it under hot water. If the ceremonial aspect brings your joy, then, by all means, do it. After all, the intention has tremendous power.

Once your teapot has been properly seasoned and begin using it, be sure to take a picture of it. After the first picture, snap another shot every time you use it so you can watch the color and patina change over time as you get to know your Yixing teapot.

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