Many of you have probably read the apocryphal story of an emperor visiting some farmer, was brewed some tea. When asked, the farmer replied that there was no tea, only seasoning from the pot. And there’s the story about a collector wanting to buy a pot from a farmer for a good price, and the next day when he came back, he found out that the pot was cleaned and so no longer wanted it – stories like this reinforce the idea that Yixing pots will season over time, and that when properly seasoned with years of brewing, are themselves capable of amazing teas.
I’m sure when you stare at that teapot of yours that you bought two or three years ago, you might be wondering how, if ever, that pot might acquire any taste from all the teas you’ve brewed in it. I certainly had wondered the same thing. Sometimes, though, it’s good to get some positive feedback.
This is a shot of a white mug I have, with water from an old pot I bought about two years ago from eBay. I never actually used the pot since I purchased it, because it’s a big one – about 350ml or so. Last night, with MadameN wanting some easy to drink tea, I decided to try this pot. The pot is already pretty clean. After rinsing it with cold water, I poured hot water in it to clean it a bit. The first rinse I threw out. This is the second rinse. The water spent maybe a total of 10 seconds in the pot, and the colour, as you can see, is a light yellow.
The pot smelled right after the rinse too – a slight sweet smell, reminding me of green tea residue. I didn’t actually taste it, but it’s pretty obvious it’s not going to taste like plain old water. The pot was advertised on eBay as something that the seller’s grandmother bought from China.Who knows how much green tea has been brewed in it over the years.
This pot is actually not a Yixing, but rather a Chaozhou pot – it’s also one of the few big Chaozhou pots I’ve encountered. Chaozhou pots seem to have a clay that is more porous than Yixing. I’ve never done any A/B tests with them against Yixing to see the effects they have. That might be something worth trying.
I ended up brewing some awkward sort-of-aged Taiwanese Lishan oolong in the pot – sweet, smooth, easy to drink, while still tasting a touch green. It’s not a bad combo.
Too bad it’s so big, otherwise I’d use it more.