Ken said

Yixing clay to tea

Okay I know have a couple of Yixing and want to start pairing them with proper tea type.

What clay goes with what tea type?

9 Replies
apefuzz said

I can’t say what kind of tea is good for what clay, but I can offer my own personal experience with a few. It will be interesting to see what others have to say.

Da Hong Pao Yixing – use it for raw pu’erh. Especially great for younger raws, adds more body and complexity.

Bao Lan Zhu Ni Yixing – use it for ripe pu’erh. Accentuates sweetness, tones down overly earthy tones. I rarely use a gaiwan for ripes any more. They all just taste better with clay.

Jian Shui – use it for Wu Yi oolongs. Rounds out the flavor, accentuates mineral sweetness. This is another go-to. The clay really adds to the tea’s development.

I also have a Qin Zhou pot on the way. The plan is to use it for raw pu’erhs as well. My first pu’erh experience was in Guangxi (home of Qin Zhou pottery), so it’s a nod to nostalgia!

You also will probably find this Yixing vs. Jian Shui vs. gaiwan scientific experiment interesting:

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LuckyMe said

Here’s some info from the Verdant tea blog:
“..Light yellow and grey clay really shines with lighter teas like sheng pu’er or dancong. Purple clay loves shu pu’er for the color and luster, while red clay does well picking up the warmth of black tea and Wuyi oolongs…”

I have a purple clay teapot that does green oolongs well and a red clay teapot for black tea. Both are Taiwanese clay pots, not authentic Yixing if that matters.

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I hate spam sooooo much…

Anyways, it’s not all about clay, for a high quality clay is not only very difficult to get these days, but it’s very expensive.

The three qualities to look at are:


I prefer somewhere around med-high firing for sheng. I go for pots with a medium mouth, small top, large base, square or oval leg, and short spout for raw puerh. An elongated spout that is high on the pot will make for slower brewing, and is best suited for a tea that won’t be bitter if it sits an extra few seconds (oolong); mid aged puerh can get bitter fast.

I’ve had great results with hongni for sheng, jianshui (as stated above) for yancha, a high fired hongni for dancong, zisha for shu, chaozhou for young sheng plus a few more I forget.

The best way to figure out which is good for which is set with your pot and try out different things. Think about how your brewing and what you’re brewing and quickly the pot will choose the tea. If you brew one tea in a pot for a week and then switch to another tea; the pot will not be “tainted”. It takes a great amount of time for a pot to dedicate itself to one tone.

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Ken said

Wow this is like creepy harry potter stuff, I bought a new pot kinda intending for roasted oolongs or blacks and both of them came out meh.. like major meh.. so I tried a ripe puerh in it and the aroma and flavor just absolutely popped.. like wow…

I had seen this with another pot my friend had and baked oolongs.. its really weird how much more intense the flavor and aroma gets when the pot and tea match.

apefuzz said

What kind of clay is your new ripe pot?

Ken said

Zi ni Shipiao shape. I thought this type of clay was good for roasted oolong and dark puerh but roasted oolongs just fell flat.

Ken said

Still looking for a pot for yunnan blacks and roasted oolongs.

apefuzz said

Yunnan Sourcing has a Jian Shui gaiwan for $45. That’s what I use for Wu Yi oolongs. Put a few Dancongs through it too. I don’t use anything else to brew Wu Yi’s anymore. It does accentuate the minerality, so I would be sure you like that sort of profile. The overall body of the tea, I feel, is greatly improved by the clay.

Ken said

That is an awesome looking gaiwan, Ill pick that up with my next order!

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