YiXing ZiSha teapot cleaning and preparation

buy zi sha teapotZiSha teapots are unique Chinese tea accessory gems and require special care to reach and preserve their potentials.

New teapots' Kai-Hu (开壶):

The Chinese are quite pedantic about Kai-Hu (开壶) which is the initial preparation of a Yixing Zisha teapot before its use.

Goal:

  1. clean up all the residuals from its manufacturing include the clay odour and dust.
  2. make sure the teapot is in its prime condition for future use to extract the best flavour from the teas it is used for.

Method: 

There are various ways of Kai-Hu, some are more complicated than the others. Following is a simple, yet effective method:

  1. Use a toothbrush to brush off any residual dust outside and inside of the Zisha teapot in a pot of the clean water. Make sure NOT to use any detergent or sanitizer.
  2. Put the teapot in a source pan with flat base, add water to cover the teapot entirely and bring it to the boil with low, then medium heat. Add some tea leaves to the source pan (ideally the same tea type the teapot is going to be used for), boil it for about 10 minutes and turn the heat off. Set aside the source pan with the teapot in it for about 5 minutes to cool down.
  3. Use low then medium heat to bring the source pan back to boil again and boil it for another 15 minutes. Set the source pan aside for another 10 minutes. 
  4. Use low then medium heat to bring the source pan to boil again, boil for 15 minutes. Set the source pan aside for 3-5 hours. Drain the teapot, rinse it with running water. The teapot now is ready to be used.

Caution:

  1. make sure the teapot is completely covered with water for the entire process.
  2. use some cloth material underneath and around the teapot in the source pan to avoid the teapot knocking itself on the source pan wall during the boiling.
  3. premium ZiSha has a unique capacity to 'store' tea flavors in their micro-cavities of the unglazed clay. Any unwanted flavours are a source of contamination. Avoid detergents, especially the sencted ones during the cleaning and preparation.

Routine clean of already in use teapots:

  1. Use only hot water to flash, avoid detergents;
  2. Tie the lid of a ZiSha teapot to its handle as shown to avoid the lid falling off and break
  3. One Zisha teapot for one tea type when possible to avoid flavour contamination.

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