How to Season a Yixing Teapot I Meimei Fine Teas

Your trusted source for best Chinese tea! Free Fast USA shipping on $89+ orders

How to Season a Yixing Purple Clay Teapot

How to Season a Yixing Purple Clay Teapot

Whether you’ve just purchased your first Yixing teapot or are simply thinking about it, it’s important to know that some care should be taken to ready your teapot for seasoning.

authentic Yixing zisha teapot - Meimei Fine Teas

Remember that Yixing teapots are to be used with only one kind of tea, and so you’ll want to think carefully about which tea you’d like to dedicate to your teapot. Once you’ve figured it out (usually black tea, dark oolongs, and pu’erhs are best), you’ll want to follow these steps before your first infusion. 

Step One: Rinse the Teapot

Ensure that your teapot is at least room temperature or warmer before progressing through subsequent steps; otherwise, you’ll risk “shocking” the clay, causing it to fracture and break from a sudden shift in temperature.

Using a good lukewarm rinse not only gently heats your teapot in the desired way, but it has the added benefit of clearing out any noticeably large particles and dust.

Step Two: Boil the Teapot

There’s a tendency to think of boiling water during its most intense phase, the roiling boil. But this is not the type of boil you should have in mind with your teapot. A roiling boil will only cause the teapot to violently bounce around, possibly breaking it.

We want the water to boil gently.

 authentic Yixing zisha teapot - Meimei Fine Teas

This type of boil will be sufficient to cause the clay of the teapot to expand, opening the pores to allow for the release of any residual clay particles and, ultimately, enhancing the seasoning effect.

When you’re ready, be sure to remove the lid of your teapot, setting it aside. There is little reason to bother with the lid, as any future tea infusions will spend very little time in contact with the lid relative to the body of the teapot. In addition, lids often prove more fragile than teapots, especially if they have an unusual or exotic knob.

Next, carefully place the teapot in a deep pot, filling it with warm water so that it just covers the top of your teapot, and then set the temperature on your stove to Low-Medium.

Everyone’s stove may vary slightly, and so it’s good to monitor your teapot. For some, this temperature setting will be sufficient, but others will want to slowly increase the temperature until the desired boil is achieved — just a gentle bubbling, as if you were giving your teapot a little massage.

Step Three: Remove the Teapot

Once your teapot has spent roughly 25–45 minutes in the gently boiling water, you’re ready to remove it from the stovetop. But this is where things can get tricky.

Some people make the mistake of trying to pour off the water before removing the teapot, causing it to suddenly tumble out with the water, shattering in the sink. Others will reach for cooking utensils, hoping to fish it out of the water. Neither of these are very good ideas.

Instead, no matter how eager you are to begin using your teapot, just wait — wait for the water to cool down to a comfortable temperature, one that allows you to reach in easily, secure the teapot with both hands, and lift it out.

Using any other method to do this could make for a clumsy retrieval.

Yixing purple clay teapot

Step Four: Season the Teapot

After you’ve followed the above steps, the teapot is officially ready for seasoning, and this is the easiest part: brew your tea!

Whether you choose to do this shortly after boiling the teapot or the next day, the boiling process guarantees that your Yixing teapot will exhibit maximum absorption, taking on the flavors and character of your favorite tea.

It shouldn’t take too many infusions to notice the beneficial effects of brewing tea in a Yixing teapot, and over time, you’ll discover that it just gets better and better.

Comments 0

Leave a comment