My First Yixing Pot
I know I haven’t been too active around here lately, but you can be sure I’m still drinking tea!
I went to the annual Tea Dinner, part of the Rocky Mountain Tea festival, at the Dushanbe teahouse in Boulder. I also got a yixing pot while I was there.
Here it is:
I’ve been meaning to get a yixing, or two or three, for sometime. I picked this one up because it was cute, but I didn’t think much of what is practical :p
I think this is a high-fired pot (correct me if Im wrong – but it’s mostly smooth and sort of produces a kling/bell-like noise). And it’s low profile.
What type of tea is best suited to this type of pot?
Congrats on 1st pot. It’s cute. I’m no expert to say which tea. Some people try several until they feel the tea is right to a pot. How big is it ? You can try oolong or red tea. I think it’s big for puerh. Let us know which tea you picked for it.
Some friends who live in China sent me one of these pots. A friend met them when visiting China and she brought it back in her suitcase. When she gave it to me she told me that the taste of the tea made in the pot will improve over the years. The more you use the teapot, the better the tea will taste.
The reason for this is that the pots are made in a particular region of China where the clay is completely unique to that area. Over many centuries they have refined the process of making the teapots with this particular clay and the result is these amazing teapots that are perfect for brewing tea.
However, you are supposed to brew the same type of tea in the pot every time, because the pot takes on the flavor of the tea and cannot be washed out. The flavor actually becomes part of the pot. So use very good tea leaves that you love. the pot deserves the best and so do you!
My pot is fairly small with a rabbit design & it has four little matching Chinese teacups.
Yes, I know this about yixings. But I also heard that certain types of yixing are better for certain teas. I think that puerh is supposed to be better in a low fired pot, so that might not be the best tea to use in mine. I was also wondering how much this preference matters – if many people here dedicate a high fired pot to puerh with good results.
Also, I frequently hear people talk about brewing puerh and oolongs in these pots, less frequently black teas and very rarely green or white teas.
Is this just coincidence or are all types of tea equally enhanced by yixing pot brewing?
It’s taken me two years to get a yixing since I first asked for one so I want to make the best choice :)
Most people don’t use green or white tea in Yixing as they tend to be subtle in strength and flavour, which may mean it will not really absorb or give anything when used. I am also on that train of thought, I don’t think years of use would give it anything ‘special’ in terms of flavours absorbed.
I have one Yixing for Sheng Pu Erh, one for Shu Pu Erh, one for light Oolong, one for dark Oolong and one for black tea. They have not really been used for long enough to say whether they have benefited from the Yixing steeping, as it’s only been a year or two max. But I do notice that the clay on the inside darkens a little and for my Pu Erh pots I can smell them on the inside even when not in use. So it must be doing something.
Really I suppose it comes down to what you drink the most. A yixing should be seen as something that can benefit your tea the more you use it. So if you drink a lot of black tea then try using it for black, or if you’re a Pu Erh fan then pick either Sheng or Shu for it again depending on your preference.
Good luck deciding :)
Find an oolong, a black tea, or a puer tea that you love. Brew your favorite in this teapot. As long as you choose a darker tea than greens or whites, there will be no risk of burning the tea leaves as yixing pots become very hot, and, as KittyLovesTea stated above, the flavor will be too light to absorb the flavor. What is key is that you use the pot often, as it will season over time with more and more use. For instance, I absolutely ADORE Da Hong Pao Wuyi Oolong. It is a tea I drink often, and so it was one of my first yixing pots that I dedicated to the tea. Hope this helps!
Thanks guys! I haven’t used it yet – I’m kinda out of tea save for a couple bagged varieties (I know, the horror!).
It seems no one is making any differentiation between high or low yixings and mid/high fired pots so I’ll hope that means it doesn’t make a lot of difference.
General guide to teapots: http://www.thechineseteashop.com/how-to-choose-teapot.html
Saw a great Yixing tea pot at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA Wednesday. Hand made in 1710. No price tag, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t afford it.
Here is an affordable one, that I’m planning to get for my 1st yixing (likely to be used for sheng).