Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yi Xing Teapots

Mary R., a fellow tea enthusiast has just purchased a few YiXing teapots, so I thought that I would talk about them for just a bit :) I am sure that some of you who read my blog are well-seasoned (pun intended) on this topic. However, for those of you who are not, YiXing teapots are made of a special clay called Zisha which is only found in YiXing China, and thus the name.

What makes zisha clay so special?

Zisha clay is said to be seasoned when the clay has absorbed the tea essences as a result of the tea oils adhering to the teapot walls with continuous use. It this tea patina which is said to create the ultimate brew. In fact, some brewers suggest that this brewing method is so superior to that of others, they will exclusivly brew their teas only in YiXing teapots.

For further information on YiXing teapots, please refer to Guang's blog at houdeblog.com who is an expert on all things tea. Don't forget to also visit Mary R's blog PalaTabilitea, which is one of the most entertaining and cleverly written tea blogs out there at palatabilitea.wordpress.com

My YiXing Teapots




One very important note. YiXing pots must be well cared for. The clay is very porous and will absorb almost any smell that the pot comes in contact with, and in order for you to be able to use your pots for years to come, you must properly clean and store them. Keep them in an area away from foul smells and where oils may be lingering in the air such as in the kitchen. I personally keep mine in cotton bags in a closet. Furthermore, never use soaps or detergents to clean your YiXing. The videos below will show you a good way to "open" and clean your Yixing pots. For those of you who do not know what "opening" your teapot does, it removes the dust from the clay pores with the hope of filling them with tea oil. This is said to start the seasoning process much faster than it would otherwise. ENJOY!

-Note- As a consequence of the video being more than 5 minutes long, it abruptly cuts off. However, the person was shown placing a handful of tea leaves in the boiling pot and continues boiling the teapot in the leaves for another 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, she removes the pot, rinsing it and then placing it in a well ventilated area to dry.

"Opening" Your YiXing Teapot



Cleaning Your YiXing Teapot

3 comments:

Mary R said...

Wow, thanks for the shout out and compliments! And THANK YOU for posting these videos! I haven't been able to break in any of the new pots yet. I could tell they had some clay dust on them, but I wasn't sure how to deal with it. This helped tremendously!

Let me make sure I have this straight. She boils the pot for about 30 min. Then she brushes inside and out first with a toothbrush and some sort of paste (which I'll probably omit...oh shoot, that reminds me--I'm out of toothpaste and forgot to pick some up after work. Drat and damn.), then she brushes it with a larger brush. The another 30 minute boil followed by a handful of leaves into the boiling water and another 30 minute tea-boil?

Bill said...

Your welcome! You got it Mary! Yeah, I never use toothpaste on my pots. They seem to do fine without that step. They will even benefit more if you let them soak overnight in the tea soup and then rinse and dry :)

Elizabeth said...

Hi and thank you for posting this helpful video.
ONE suggestion, please..watch the water folks! That was an outrageous waste of water. There's no reason to use (waste) that much fresh water.
Please conserve, we all must work at it to make it work.
thanks
Elizabeth