How to Cure a Gong Fu (Yixing) Teapot

June 01, 2018 0 Comments

There are many ways to brew up your favorite loose leaf tea, but one of the most meditative and relaxing ways is using a clay Gong Fu (or “yixing”)  teapot. These Chinese teapots allow you to brew seemingly endless pots of tea while chatting with family and friends. And the brewing method involved with using a Gong Fu teapot is considered to make the best-tasting tea. But, like any finely crafted tool or cooking utensil, there are some specific recommendations for preparing and caring for a brand new Gong Fu teapot. Check out our steps below on how to cure / season one before use.

A Gong Fu, or yixing, teapot.

Why cure clay teapots before use?

When you get your shiny new clay Gong Fu teapot, you may be tempted to give it a quick scrub with soap and water and start brewing. But not so fast! Most pots should be cured before first use, and you don’t want to contaminate it with soapy residue that will remain inside the porous walls of the pot. In Chinese, preparation of a new teapot is called  "開壺" or "open pot". This infuses the clay with tea residue so the pot can be ready for brewing tea. If you do not cure the pot, the first brews may have a bit of a clay-like flavor.

A Gong Fu (yixing) teapot.

Another big reason for curing is to remove any wax coating that may have been used to make the pots look shinier or more presentable. Hot water will remove this wax, along with any added polish, in the curing process.

How to cure clay teapots

Curing your Chinese Gong Fu or yixing teapot is very simple. All you need is a big pot that can accept your teapot, loose leaf tea leaves or already brewed tea leaves, and some hot water.

Put your pot(s) into a big enough container to hold the pot(s) and water.

Get a Big Pot!

Rise the pot(s) with tap water to get off any major dust and lightly scrub them with a dish sponge (without soap!) if needed. Then put the pot(s) in room temperature water in a large soup pot. Be sure there’s enough water to completely cover the pots. If you’re curing more than one pot, be sure there is room between them for the water to circulate.

Add in loose leaf tea or already brewed tea leaves.

Add Tea

Add enough loose-leaf tea to cover the surface of the water. You can also use already brewed tea leaves. The type of tea used will subtly infuse the teapot with that particular flavor.

Add water and bring to a boil or add in boiling water.

Boil the Water

Bring the water to a full boil.

Let the gongfu teapots soak in the tea water over night.

Let Simmer and Soak

Let the pots soak for several hours, preferably overnight.

Take out the teapots and let dry.

Dry and Use!

After soaking, take the pot(s) out and allow to air dry. You can then rub the pots with a cloth or tea towel to remove any extra residue.

After your pot is dried and rubbed, you can start using it to brew tea! Enjoy!

While you're here, you might want to check out our fine selection of teaware and fine Taiwan teas to try yourself!

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