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Seasoning Yixing Clay Tea Cups

So my wife and I recieved Yixing clay teacups as a wedding gift from one of my best friends. Obviously why she is such a great friend :) How do I clean and season these beautiful cups?

5 Replies
Angrboda said

I used to have an awesome link about this, but it looks like I’ve lost it. :( Shame, because it had pictures and helpful tips and such.

I think, though, that for cleaning you could just rinse it really well with boiling water and a soft, clean brush. No soap or baking powder or anything else that you might think of, because it will settle in the unglazed clay.

For seasoning, decide what you want to use it for and brew a super-strength round of that. Leave it in for a while so that it really draws into the clay. Maybe repeat the process a few times.

I have also heard that you can brew up the super-strength tea in a larger container and submerge the entire pot or cup and leave it in for a while.

(For the slow and lazy solution, just start using them and let the seasoning build up slowly over time. But it takes a long time. A LONG time. I had a small yixing pot which I used regularly for a few years and it was only just getting there, I think, when I retired it. (It wasn’t very good to pour from. Quite drippy))

Will said

Is the inside surface glazed or unglazed? If the latter, I wouldn’t really advise using them much (other than for decorative purposes), and if you do, I’d stick to one general type of tea with them.

That said, I don’t think you need to do anything to “season” them. Just wash with boiling water, and don’t ever use soap on them.

You don’t need to “season” a clay teacup. Just wash them well. You can use a tiny bit of dish washing soap if that’s the only way to make you comfortable at using it. Otherwise just wash with tap water and then rinse with boiling water. I also don’t recommend drinking tea using cups without glazed interior. No big deal. Just that it’s impossible to tell what color your tea truly is without a white glazed on the inside of the cup.

thanks for the input they look unglazed and I was primarily going to use mine for Pu-Erh.

ashmanra said

I think the site purepuer.com might have some info on this. I know I have read that one should season the pots but I have never seen anything that said to season the cups, but I think soaking them in the tea you will drink regularly from them would be best. Purepuer sells a brush for brushing tea onto your Yixing pots and I am all about doodads and accessories so I will be getting one soon. My tea tray came from them and it is exquisite. Mostly they just say no soap ever, rinse and dry your pots, and only use one kind of tea per pot. The unglazed clay absorbs the tea and supposedly a well seasoned pot can eventually make tea without adding any leaves!

Enjoy your tea, enjoy your tea set, enjoy your friend, enjoy each other! :)

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