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