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Tea connoisseurs say that a Yixing teapot is an invaluable tool for any tea enthusiast’s collection. The qualities that make them truly special are the clay from which they are made and the highly skilled craftspeople who create them. Yixing clay is named for the city where it is found, in the region near the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, China. The purple clay dates back to the Song Dynasty and is typically used to make tea vessels.

While Yixing teapots are famous in China for their beauty as well as practicality, it is their ability to absorb flavors of the beverage it holds, creating a more robust flavor over time. It is said that a well-used Yixing teapot will retain so much tea flavor that after many years of use, the teapot can brew tea by just pouring in hot water without using tea leaves. Yixing teapots also distribute heat more evenly to bring out the most flavor and health benefits of tea and can keep your tea warm for an hour or longer!

Due to the porous and unglazed surface of Yixing teapots, there are special care instructions to follow. To prepare your teapot for use:

  • Remove lid and completely submerge teapot, lid, and teacups in a pot of cold water.
  • Add tea leaves into the water bath and bring everything toa slow boil.
  • Boil for 15 minutes, then let the teawares sit and cool for 2 hours.
  • Remove the teaset from the water.
  • Rinse well with hot water.
  • Add tea leaves into the teapot and fill with boiling water.
  • Let the tea sit in the teapot for 24 hours.
  • Empty out the contents and rinse again with hot water. This removes the natural, earthy aroma of the teapot and rinses awa any clay residue from inside the pot.
  • Let air dry uncovered.

To maintain and clean your Yixing teaware:

  • Use the teapot to brew tea, not as a stove-top kettle.
  • Never use in a microwave oven.
  • Do not use any soaps or detergents to clean your teapot. Rinse ONLY with water and wipe dry after each use.
  • Do not use any abrasive pads to clean the teapot.
  • Do not expose the teapot to salt or oils.
  • Never teapot in a dishwasher.
  • It is recommended to only brew one type of tea in a Yixing teapot to avoid “cross-brewing”.

You may notice red spots or white water marks two to three weeks after first use. This is normal and will help prevent rust. When properly cared for, Yixing teapots can last a lifetime.

All Yixing teapots are on sale now at AJPanda.com!

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In the United States, tea drinking is much more casual than in Chinese culture. Here we drink it iced, flavored, sweetened, made from an instant mix and out of vending machines. The practice of drinking tea actually originated in China where the first tea leaf was found in the southwestern region thousands of years ago. Wild tea trees 2,700 years old can still be found there! Tea is drunk in China every day to symbolize good health and for simple pleasure, but there are also several special circumstances when it is custom to prepare and serve tea. It is hard to imagine that the Chinese have been observing these customs for thousands of years!

  • As a sign of respect – The younger generation shows respect to their elders by offering a cup of tea.
  • At family gatherings
  • To apologize – Pouring tea to the one you wronged is sign of regret and submission.
  • In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony – The bride and groom serve tea to their parents and say thank you for raising them. Tea is always served when introducing large, extended families at wedding ceremonies. Drinking the tea symbolizes acceptance into the family.

Whatever the occasion for drinking tea, don’t forget to do the “thanks” knock! To show gratitude to the one who poured you the tea, tap your bended index or middle finger on the table.

At AJ Panda, we strive to offer our customers the most authentic and unique Chinese teapots and tea sets. We offer yixing teapots, cast iron teapots, porcelain teapots, tea cups and other Chinese tea accessories. Whatever your tea drinking rituals are, we hope we offer a set that suits your needs and tastes!

 

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