Seasoning your Yixing zisha teapot
Congratulations on scoring a brand new, genuine Yixing zisha teapot! We know how much effort it's taken for you to get to this point. Hours of research on what the heck is a Yixing zisha teapot – what makes it so special, all the different clays, how to tell if one's real or fake etc. And this is all before you find the right teapot – that teapot that speaks to your soul.
Now that you have this pot though, what next? Crack open your favourite tea and let 'er rip? Not quite. Before using this pot for the first time, it's best that you season it. Because Yixing zisha teapots are unglazed, they tend to have a clay-like aroma attached to them that can have unwanted effects on the tea that you’re brewing. Seasoning the pot will remove this effect and will allow you to start brewing better tea.
Important note: As Yixing zisha teapots are pourous and tend to absorb the flavours of the tea that you brew, it’s recommended that you dedicate and only brew one type of tea with every zisha teapot. So choose wisely.
HOW TO SEASON YOUR YIXING ZISHA TEAPOT
1. Use water only to thoroughly clean inside and outside of the pot and lid. Pour all the water out from the top opening.
2. Place the pot with the lid off into a deep plate or a big bowl and gently pour hot/boiling water into the pot until it’s full.
3. Pop the lid back on (some water might flow out from the spout) and thoroughly pour hot water onto the outside of the pot. Leave it for a few minutes. This step will allow the minute pores to expand and let all the sand and dust out.
4. Pour all the water out from the top opening of the pot (Be careful of the heat of the pot when you touch it).
5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 three times.
6. Put your chosen type of tea leaves into the pot, and gently pour hot/boiling water into the pot, steeping the tea for approx. 20–30mins, allowing it to cool down (If you are using a plate or bowl, you might need to take the pot out and place it on a tea towel on a flat and dry surface).
7. Pour all the tea liquor out and use the wet leaves to carefully rub the inside and outside of the pot and lid (Note: handle with care as the pot and lid are wet and slippery). This step is to use the tea leaves to clean and absorb all the sand, dust and finger prints that may have been left during the production process.
8. Repeat steps 2 to 4 once or twice again
9.Use a clean tea towel to carefully rub the inside and outside of the pot and lid. Remember once again to handle with care.
10. Allow the pot to dry and rest by leaving it uncovered on a dry flat surface for 2-3 days.
After all this, your Yixing zisha teapot is now ready to use. Happy brewing!