Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seasoning the Yixing

I told you earlier about a Yixing pot that I had obtained, but hadn’t used yet. I was finally able to get around to seasoning and using the little guy... and here is how I choose to do it.

After doing a little research I found several ways of seasoning a Yixing pot. With some methods being more tedious – and maybe even unnecessary – than others, I was able to find a good practical way of seasoning.

On Seven Cups website, they list 5 simple and easy steps to seasoning:
1. Pour room temperature water inside your tea pot and let it sit for 4-5 hours.
2. Pour the water out and add boiling water to the inside of your pot. Let the water soak until the water temperature decreases to room temperature.
3. Choose the type of tea that you would like to enjoy in your new pot. Place some tea leaves inside the pot and pour boiling water inside. Let the water cool to room temperature and then pour out.
4. Add boiling water again to the same batch of leaves and let it cool for a second time, once cool discard both water and tea.
5. Your pot is ready to be used.

Like I said before, I choose to dedicate this pot to Ti Kuan Yin. After seasoning with these simple steps, I was able to put my once neglected Yixing pot to use and enjoy a real nice cuppa.





However, if you really have nothing else to do on a rainy day, another method is to boil the entire tea pot in a larger pot of water. For this process, give the tea pot and lid a good rinse. Then, submerge the tea pot and lid (with the lid off of the tea pot) into room temperature water. Bring the water to a boil. After a few minutes of boiling, turn off the heat and let the water cool to room temperature. Remove the tea pot, lid, and water. Fill the larger pot with fresh, room temperature water, submerge the tea pot and lid in the water and bring to a boil. After several minutes of boiling, add the desired tea leaves to the boiling water. Turn off the heat and let the water cool to room temperature (as per some instructions it was suggested to leave the tea pot in this state over night). Remove the tea pot and lid from the water, discard the water and tea leaves, and rinse the tea pot and lid. The tea pot is ready for use.

Be very carefully when using the method above, because the boiling water has a tendency to rock the tea pot and lid around a bit so chipping is possible (hence, one of the reasons I chose not to use this method).

4 comments:

mandybee said...

Great post! I would never have known that you have to prep your Yixing pots before using them. Are you going to post later and let us know how the tea is tasting in the pot? I'm really curious as to how much it helps boost the flavors of the tea.

Brittiny said...

Thanks for the comment!

Check out the forum TeaChat.com and search for "yixing" or "seasoning yixing" and you will find several methods, along with other information, about yixing that people have posted. :)

I will probably have to use this pot many times before I notice a difference, but I will be sure to post about it again when I do.

Jamus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamus said...

Brittiny,

Nice post on pot prep. I have that very same teapot and I love it. It's used strictly for shupu these days. This was one of the few pots I've seen that didn't need a ton of prep work. Normally when I season a pot, I'll put it in a larger bowl and fill both the pot and the bowl with leaves. I'll start filling the pot how I would were going to drink it, and then I'll start pouring the brew into a chahai. I'll fill the pot back up with boiling water from the kettle, cap it, and then pour the chahai over the top of the refilled pot. After that, I just repeat the process, usually while catching up on blogs or reading a book. It's definitely a rainy day activity. When the pot is completely submerged, I'll let it sit overnight and start the process again the next morning. Everyone has a process to this, but I think what is most important is to let the aroma of the leaves settle into the pot. The best part about it is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. I've even heard that some people prefer to just let it season naturally without any of the fancy hoodoo that so many of us enjoy. Anyhow, thanks for sharing!

jamus~