|My first yixing, dedicated to Dancong|
The first step is deciding which tea to dedicate your pot too. I believe that you don’t need to be super specific but you should stick to a particular family (i.e. green oolongs, cooked puerh). My own personal pots are dedicated to specific teas that I have a special affinity for: Dangcong Oolong, Tie Guan Yin Oolong, Dong Ding Oolong and Lapsang Souchong. Green and white teas are generally not something you should use in a yixing pot. The clay absorbs too much heat and will negatively affect the taste of your tea.
When I purchased my first yixing, many of the websites I found advised boiling it in a pot of water with the chosen tea. This struck me as possibly dangerous for a delicate pot. Some versions recommended resting it on a slotted spoon but I still did not feel comfortable. While my pot wasn’t very expensive, I was fond of it and did not want to take any unnecessary risks. I finally found a method that works for me on the website for Seven Cups, a retailer based in Arizona.
Here are the steps as prescribed by them:
- Let temperature water sit inside for 4-5 hours
- Remove room temperature water and fill with boiling water. Let the pot sit until it reaches room temperature
- Empty the pot and place the leaves of the tea you would like to season the pot with inside. Fill with boiling water and let cool to room temperature again
- Repeat last step using the same leaves. Discard both tea and water once the pot is room temperature
- Your pot is officially ready to be used.
I have used this method for all of my yixing teapots and have not experienced any problems. All of pots seasoned up fairly quickly and they still produce wonderful tasting tea. How do you season your yixing? I’d love to hear about any other methods you might use.