Dedicating Yixing Teapots to Specific Kinds of Tea
Dedicating Yixing Teapots to Specific Kinds of Tea

Dedicating Yixing Teapots to Specific Kinds of Tea

Yixing teapots (or Zisha teapots) are known to be great to brew different kinds of tea. Due to the porous nature of the clay, this kind of teaware is very absorbent. Overtime the teapot will acquire the taste of the tea you steep in it. Because of this feature, you want it to only absorb one type of flavour. Therefore, as a starting point you could dedicate one teapot for:

  • raw pu erh tea
  • ripe pu erh tea
  • light oolong (such as tieguanyin)
  • oxidized/roasted oolongs (such as dahongpao)
  • black tea

Some drinkers like to make a difference between origin. For example, black tea from Yunnan and Fujian have a different flavour profile and therefore it could be worth it to use a different Yixing teapot. Others, even brew different pu erhs in different teapots based on age.

However, generally we believe the above division is specific enough as a start, unless you've deep pockets and love to collect Zisha clay teapots.

Why not green or white tea?

Generally you won't often see green or white teas being brewed in a clay teapot. One main benefit of the Yixing teapots is that it isolates the heat very well making it suitable for the above teas that needs to be steeped at a high temperature. Green and white teas however often taste better when steeped at lower temperatures. And because of the light flavours, they often don't taste as good when brewed in a clay teapot, compared to for example glass or porcelain teaware.

Avoid flavoured teas or herbs

As said before, clay teapots are very absorbent. When flavoured teas or other types of herbs are steeped in a Yixing teapot, it will absorbed those strong flavors, affecting the taste of teas you steep in it in the future. For flavoured teas or herbs we strongly recommend using glass or porcelain.

February 22, 2016
July 4, 2021 at 9:54 AM
Can we brew milk tea in it?
July 29, 2021 at 11:52 PM
For milk tea purposes, I wouldn't recommend a Yixing teapot. Instead, go for a larger clay pot which are also used for soups. You can then boil the tea to get all the flavour out, add milk, and optionally add herbs such as cinnamon for additional flavour.
December 4, 2021 at 12:41 AM
Great article! Would you classify ginseng oolong as a flavoured tea or a light oolong?
December 27, 2021 at 10:34 PM
It's in fact both. It's a light oolong that's flavoured. Generally for flavoured teas, it won't make sense to dedicate an Yixing teapot to it. I would rather recommend to use 'neutral' teaware made from glass or porcelain.