The Yixing teapots are quite small, generally sized for 2-4 people, un-glazed and typically found in red, green, or black colors. Being un-glazed these teapots become seasoned with use taking the aroma and flavors of the teas prepared in them. For this reason it is best to use one type of Yixing teapot for each type of tea. Additionally, since they are un-glazed Yixing teapots do a great job wicking remaining liquid away from tea after steeping keeping the leaves fresh and ready for many subsequent infusions.
Typically used with Puerh, the Yixing teapot can also be used with black, oolong and indeed all varieties of tea. If you do so, it really is a must to have a different teapot for each tea.
Preparing tea with a Yixing teapot is one thing, but it goes hand in hand with the Gongfu Style of Tea. Learn more in our post on Gongfu Style and the Yixing Teapot.
Brewing in a Yixing Teapot Step by Step
The directions outlined below are general in nature and can vary tremendously depending on many factors including type of tea, how strong you like it, and tea quality. Specific variations, if any, are outlined on product pages but you should feel free to experiment to find how you like a tea best.
- Prepare enough tea to fit in your Yixing teapot. If your tea is from a cake this will mean prying enough off to use.
- Pour boiling water into the Yixing pot to warm it and pour off into a fair pitcher if you are using one, or the cup you plan to serve into. Then discard.
- Add the tea to your Yixing teapot.
- Add boiling water to the teapot -- fill to the top. For oolongs use around 200°F and for green or other teas use 175°F.
- Gently scrape any bubbles off the top and add the lid.
- Immediately pour off the liquid and discard (we are rinsing or waking the tea).
- Refill the teapot, scrape the bubbles, and add the lid.
- Allow the tea to steep 15 seconds and pour into your fair pitcher or the cup you plan to serve into.
- Repeat infusions 10-15 times adding about 5 seconds per infusion after the fifth or sixth.
Note these directions are for using a Yixing teapot can vary wildly in terms of how long to steep and how many infusions to do. Ultimately these instructions should be a starting point. You absolutely should explore slightly more or less tea, cooler water temperatures, and incremental variations on steep time.
How Much Leaf in a Yixing Teapot?
As previously mentioned the amount of tea to use can vary wildly depending on the leaf size and personal taste. This chart is a startling point only.
|Teapot Size |||| Leaf Amount|
|2.4 oz||1/2 to 2 tsp|
|3.4 oz||1 1/2 tsp to 3 tsp|
|6 oz||3 tsp to 4 1/2 tsp|
|7.6 oz||4 tsp to 5.5 tsp|