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(another question on page 2) So.. I just bought a Yixing pot and I have a question!

Since I’ve finally found my “holy grail” of teas, I figured it was time to buy a Yixing pot. Now I have 2 pots at home–a 16oz yixing, and a 24oz ceramic one. I have had it around the house for a day now and I have to return it (it has a crack along the spout that makes it leak) and I’m wondering whether i should return it for another one or just get my money back. I can’t help but feel that there’s no need for 2 pots in the house even if the yixing has a different application than the ceramic.

Now, I think this feeling of wasting money is simply coming from the fact that I am new to tea and really have no idea how many pots the average tea drinker uses, or if Yixing is really fluffed up and doesn’t really affect flavor as much as people say it does. So I guess my question would be: for green tea, how much of an effect would a yixing pot have on the same tea after continuous use? And is that improvement in flavor worth the $50 I spent on the yixing pot worth it to have it as a second pot devoted to my favorite tea? I know this is all subjective, but I want to know YOUR opinion on the matter. Thanks!

13 Replies
Babble said

I’m sure others have more informed opinions, but I would say start off with a cheaper yixing. You can find decent ones for 20-30. Start with that and then you can work your way up. :)

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DC said

My two cents worth on this subject:

i) Of all the ways to improve the quality of your brew- the least cost effective is brewing vessel. If you have reached a plateau then yes, you might want an Yixing pot but if as you said you are new, then there are better ways of spending your money IMO
The incomparable MarshalN wrote a great post on this http://www.marshaln.com/2009/04/friday-april-24-2009/

ii) Green teas don’t benefit as much from Yixings as say Oolong and Pu-er. Green teas are favored for its refreshing feeling and sweet aftertaste, something that seasoning would not improve that much

iii) There are a lot Yixings in the market that are fakes. You can season and season and it makes no difference apart from a placebo effect.

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I just want a different looking pot than the one I have now. Would it be more cost effective to save up my money for a cast iron pot?

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DC said

Cast iron pots don’t work better, they are good for boiling water, not making tea

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So to answer my first question: Should I just give it back, take my money back, and stick with my ceramic pot? That’s the main question I want answered hehe

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darby select said

Yep, I suggest it until you feel the need to take tea to the next level. I use ceramic myself and like it. Although I find bone china makes it taste better – probably just me though.

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Ok, dang. Of course my favorite tea isn’t affected by yixing haha

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DaisyChubb said

I’ll respond here since this seems to be the main thread,
I suggest (if you want a lot of different opinions) to search for “yixing green tea” in the forum search – here’s a good thread which touches on the question – and here’s an excerpt from it to give you an idea of what they’re talking about:

“First, why is it typically limited to Oolongs and Pu’er?

One of the benefits of an yixing clay teapot (over, say, a gaiwan) is the fact that they hold heat incredibly well. When you pour boiling water over and into your yixing, the clay holds the heat and, in turn, is also very close to that high temperature. It also helps to keep the water from cooling too quickly during your steeps. The higher quality the clay and the better the fit between lid and body (craftsmanship), the better this will work.
You probably wouldn’t want this kind of environment for green teas or tea that otherwise prefers a cooler temperature. That is the main practical reason yixing is not typically used for greens. Because of the lower temperature required, I typically make greens in glasses (where the cool water can cool down even more quickly) or, if I’m using a big Western pot, I steep with the lid off (again, to help with the temp)."



Hope that helps, since I don’t have any experience on it, however I am interested in the question and definitely wonder about green teas and yixing. :)

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Uniquity said

If you return it (which I would do) you could consider investing in a gaiwan if you’re looking for a secondary brewing device for your greens. Gaiwans are tricky to deal with at first but can yield some lovely tea.

I agree with Uniquity. I think that a Gaiwan would be a much better investment. You can find one inexpensively if you happen to have an Asian tea market around, I can often find them there as low as $3. They are usually the very thin, what I want to call eggshell porcelain gaiwans, and I find these to be inconvenient, so I’d recommend shelling out a little more, shopping around and finding an “easy gaiwan” like this one: http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/product.php?id_product=1118 They are crafted of a thicker porcelain and because of the little “holders” on the side you’re less likely to burn the fingertips as you’re pouring the tea. These easy gaiwans make it easier to pour the tea from the gaiwan to teacup too.

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Yixing clay absorbs heat which I think would actually have a negative affect on the taste for green tea. A gaiwan or houjin are the way to go if you are looking to improve your brewing experience.

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