Mr Ge's daughter making a fully handmade Yixing teapot in their studio. #familybusiness

Zisha teapots require some basic preparation and attention to get the best from them.

When cared for, Zisha clay will give impressive brewing results and develop an alluring patina over time.

In this article we want to offer some tips to help you get the best from your Zisha teapot. This is by no means an expert's guide and you may come across others who recommend different seasoning methods to the ones suggested here, but we think this is a solid starting point. 

New Zisha Teapot Preparation

When you first receive your Zisha teapot you will need to rinse it inside to remove any loose clay or salt/sand that may be remaining after the firing process. Sometimes you may also need to use your finger or a long brush to remove any clay that doesn't come away with simple rinsing.

Preparing a Zisha Teapot for Oolong, Black and Puerh Teas:

For oolong, black and Puerh teas, place some leaves of the tea you've chosen to use with your new Zisha teapot into a pan and add enough water to cover the pot. It is important to use a pan that has not previously been used to cook anything oily or strong flavoured. Ideally, you should remove the lid from the teapot and place both of them separately into the pan to ensure that leaves and water are able to get inside. Gently heat the water and tea leaves until just coming to the boil (do not boil vigorously). Simmer for 10 minutes. After this is done, wait for at least 4 hours (or overnight) then take out the teapot and use hot/boiling water to clean, then buff dry with a tea towel or other soft cloth. Your  Zisha teapot is now ready to brew!

Note: you can use previously-brewed leaves to season your teapot, rather than wasting your new tea.

Preparing a Zisha Teapot for Green & Young White Teas:

To season a teapot for green tea and young white tea, we recommend you follow the above method but use plain boiling water instead of adding leaves to the pan. The reason for this is, boiling white and green tea causes the liquor to become bitter and it may also stain the pot. 

Alternative Method:

Another method for seasoning your teapot before use is as follows: fill the new teapot with boiling water. Replace the lid and pour boiling water over the outside of the teapot too. Leave it to stand for 5 - 10 minutes. Repeat 2 to 3 times. Use spent leaves of your chosen tea type to brew an infusion in the teapot, then leave it to stand for 10 minutes. Decant the liquid and repeat. Pour the previously prepared tea liquor over the exterior of the tea pot. Rinse and you are ready.

How to care for your Zisha Teapot

After preparing your teapot before first use, ongoing care of it is also an important part of your investment. There are many ways to care for and maintain your Zisha clay teapot; methods differ depending on where you travel in China.

The simplest tip we can give you is to remove the wet tea leaves once you've finished brewing, rinse with boiling water and dry with a tea towel. Do not use any soaps or detergents.

If you live somewhere hot and/or humid, or you do not frequently use your tea pot, it is important to keep it dry. Failure to do this may make your teapot smell musty, and this unpleasant smell is not easy to remove. 

Other general pointers for caring for your Yixing teapot are, ensure tea stains are removed as quickly as possible once you have finished brewing. This is easy to do with hot water and a tea towel. Pay close attention to places where the tea may sit, (on the rim and lid, on the neck of the spout and on the underside of the tea pot). This is especially important when preparing black and Puerh teas, or if your teapot is made from light-coloured clays such as Duan Ni white clay. 

Regular rubbing with your cloth will bring forth the colour and lustre.

Seasoning Your Yixing Zisha Teapot

Seasoning happens naturally over time with regular usage and good general care. However, many people are keen to see what their teapot will look like when mature, and there are some methods to accelerate the seasoning process: 

  • Leave the teapot full of water and leaves. This a good way to 'soak' the teapot, but we personally don't recommend that you leave the tea leaves in the pot for longer than one day.
  • Rub the tea pot with wet tea leaves. This is a way to impart colour and season the clay and is suitable for large leaf teas such as Tie Guan Yin, Puerh and green tea. If you do this, take care to rinse the outside of the teapot and rub dry with a cloth once you are finished. Using this method too often may overly stain the teapot.
  • Standing in a 'tea bath'. Very similar to 'Leaving the tea pot full' method. However, here you prepare a bowl with your tea leaves and tea liquor and then submerge your teapot. 

Tea preparationTea wareYixing

Editors Choice

  1. Chinese Gaiwan
  2. Wan Ling in the tea fields of Fuding, Fujian. One of the key growing regions for Chinese white tea.
  3. Puerh teacakes
  4. Wet piled puerh tea. Main step in Shu Puerh production.

Tea Articles Update

We have recently updated our website and are in the process of re-writting all of our old articles to bring them upto date.

If you are looking for an article that was on our old site for any reason, please contact us.

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