A classic xishi teapot, rendered in revered zhuni (vermillion clay).
Yixing is well known as a mineral-dense, high fired stoneware clay. Aware that pots of high percentages of "pure" zisha / zhuni clay are either fake or cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, we focus on more functional measures of quality:
All volumes are measured to the brim. Functional volume may vary.
volume 8.75 oz / 260 ml • length 5" • width 3.5" • height 3"
Yixing teapots are intended to be seasoned with one type of tea. Due to the clay’s level of porosity, a yixing teapot will take on the aroma and character of the tea brewed in it.
To season a new yixing teapot, first scrub the teapot with a soft sponge. Rinse, fill the teapot with fresh water and let it sit overnight. Second, brew a strong infusion of the tea you intend to season the pot with. Submerge the teapot (filled with the tea infusion) in a large bowl of water and let the pot sit in the bowl overnight. In the morning rinse the teapot with fresh water and begin using.
After steeping tea, empty the leaves and rinse the teapot with clean water. Leave the teapot open with the lid ajar so that it can dry. Depending on the type of Zi Sha (clay), it can take up to a night. Use a soft wet cloth to clean the exterior of the pot and a soft dry cloth to polish it.
NEVER use soap or detergent on yixing clay. The clay will absorb the flavor of tea as well as chemical cleaners. Do not store yixing teapots near strong scents or spices, especially when the pot is wet – the pot will absorb that particular scent.