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Yixing Seasoning

I really want a yixing teapot. I know that they season and are recommended for individual kinds of tea, but how specific does that tea have to be?

If I buy a yixing and call it my “oolong” yixing, should I use only one oolong from one retailer in that tea, or can I use multiple different varieties of oolongs? Etc.

Thanks!

19 Replies
Azzrian said

I just talked to Garret about this this past week. Its your choice. You can have ONE pot for each and every favorite tea you have – one for each oolong, one for each pu-erh etc.
OR you can have one for just oolongs in general and one for pu-erhs in general.
The deal is that the one pot will absorb every tea you have in it and over time you may want that favorite cherished oolong but find that the flavor becomes different because of the steeping in the yixing pot. So if you want your favorite teas to be true to their flavor use ONE yixing for that tea and maybe have a second for a mix of teas. It will be interesting to see over time what your pot creates from all the different teas you had in it. Hope that helps.

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In addition to what Azzrian said, here is a link that goes further in-depth…
http://www.thechineseteashop.com/how-to-choose-teapot.html

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Wonderful information. Thank you.

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Just an aside to what Azzrian said, I would say that you should be more specific than “This is my oolong pot” and “This is my puer pot” , since oolongs and puers both have some really divergent flavor profiles, for example, Tie Guan Yin and Yan Cha are both puer, but should not occupy the same yixing. Or to be even more broad, raw and cooked puer should not occupy the same pot. So, maybe “this is my cooked puer pot” and “this is my tie guan yin/taiwan oolong pot” might be a better compromise

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Azzrian said

True for example I so far have three (well two are still on their way to me BUT…) one for shu pu-erh, one of sheng Pu-erh and one for oolongs. Now I have not got it down as far as specific types of oolongs, or pu-erhs for that matter and I may not. I have only had one type of sheng so far out of my sheng pot so I could still narrow it down even more – and my other two pots have not arrived as of yet. SO I still have time to consider how far I want to take this.
You have to also consider expense, time as each pot needs seasoned and cared for properly, and storage of pots. I was thinking about how smoke, or food smells, etc could potentially be absorbed into the pots so mine are in my cabinet behind glass but its not like that is air tight.
I do not have a lot of free time to care for pots, and while this may change, for me, for now, three pots is probably going to be my max.
Besides even with using many types of oolongs or pu-erhs in one pot it will be interesting to see how the flavors meld over time.
If and when I want to try a new tea without the influence of other flavors it is a simple solution – the gaiwan!!
So I will probably always try a brand new tea from my gaiwan then when I want to sit and allow my yixing pots to absorb more flavors I will use the yixing.
Its all a personal thing based on many elements.

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Azzrian said

Side note, HOWEVER lets say I find an oolong, or pu-erh that I absolutely fall madly in love with. I WILL absolutely get that one its own pot! Heck I may even get a fourth – I have my eye on one from Mandala, just for IN CASE that happens which I am sure it will since my explorations into Pu-erh are really only beginning! :)

Hah! If you already have your eye on it, you know you’re going to get it eventually. ;) Just like you have to be prepared to bring home kittens even if you’re “just going to look.”

Which pot is it?

Azzrian said

HAHAHAHA! Its the Black Pearl :)

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I have two coming. I think I will use one for chai teas. The other I am torn over. Maybe simply for unflavoed delicate whites. Or maybe whites and greens? Surely there is not that much of a difference between the two? Any feedback?

Azzrian said

While you can use your yixing for anything you WANT to – its YOUR yixing after all – from what I have read … and please know that I am absolutely NOT an expert with this! I am only myself learning … but what I am reading, and watching on youtube, etc is that yixing is mostly used for oolong, pu-erh and some greens. Now with that said – that may be the most popular teas to use in yixing, and not that you can’t or shouldn’t use yixing for others. I just don’t know if the lighter teas like white for example have enough flavor in them to be absorbed.
Can anyone else shed light on this?

Just to reiterate – I don’t own a yixing, nor have I ever used one. However, from reading about them, I’ve learned that they’re primarily used for oolongs and pu-erhs because of the re-steep potential. Because you can re-steep those two teas lots of times, you end up with a really deep flavor in the pot. An eighth steep pu-erh is going to taste a lot different than a first steep, and if you mix the two you’re going to get a lot of interesting depth.

Not to say that you can’t use flavored teas, black teas, etc in it. It’s just that the flavor, even when steeping in a seasoned pot, will be more similar to the flavor of an unseasoned pot if you use something like a black instead of an oolong.

I haven’t heard anything much about whites/greens – I’ve heard that greens can sometimes be used in yixings. I’d think that the delicate flavor of a white tea would be lost.

I hope this makes sense! Again, though, this is all just what I’ve read/heard. I’ve never tasted yixing firsthand.

I personally would not use a Yixing teapot for Whites or Greens. Even after seasoning the teapot, the clay affects the flavor of the tea. Whites are too delicate IMHO, as are most greens.

That is just an opinion, but I’ve always preferred Yixing teapots for blacks and oolong teas. Light flowery teas like Jasmine would be completely altered. Some black flavored teas like Chai teas would probably work just fine. :))

Nice. Thank you for the responses. That actually does make sense. I am learning more and more everyday. Love it.

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Boo TeaLux. My YiXing came today. Packaged badly. One cup broken. One tea I ordered missing. Off to let them know on their Fb page.

Azzrian said

:( How sad.

Yes, the one for Caraway is so cute and rings like a bell. This one from TeaLux is cute also but waxy feeling. No ringy dingy. :0(
Two in one day. Bad, bad me. Lol

Azzrian said

LOL so how many do you have total at this time? I have two here – one on the way from ebay.

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Azzrian said

Also I am thinking of how MUCH tea I will have to steep to season this pot I got from caraway lol its going to need a BIG bowl to soak in!

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I now have my blue Fuku tetsubin, and two Yixing pots. I think I am good…for now. ;0)

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