There are many different types of materials used to make teapots. Glass, porcelain, and clay are the most common ones that we use. The properties of each material make them more suitable for brewing certain types of tea vs. the others.
As an example, glass pots are more suitable for green teas and twisted rolled black teas to bring out the brightness and vibrancy of the tea. Porcelain pots are more suitable for floral forward teas, such as Baozhong or Oriental Beauty that offer beautiful head notes while carrying a good body for texture. Clay pots are more appropriate for brewing tightly rolled oolongs, such as high mountain oolong, Frozen Summit or Iron Goddess for clay can better extracts the depth and complexity of the aromas.
Benefits of Brewing with A Clay Teapot
There are numerous benefits of using a clay pot for tea brewing. The unglazed clay inside the teapot softens the texture of the water, therefore making the infusion silkier and more luxurious on the palate.
Unglazed clay is also porous, retaining the aromatic oils of every tea brewed in the pot. Slowly but surely, it collects a patina of your favorite teas and will gently season any tea you brew in it. It is like using a vintage cast iron skillet passed down for generations, making everything just a little more delicious.
The process of caring for a clay pot can seem daunting if you browse the internet. Not to worry - we have broken them down to a few simple steps.
Seasoning A New Clay Teapot
Make sure you clean your new clay pot very well before you use it. There could be small dust particles lodged in the body of the pot, which we don’t want in our tea.
Cleaning brand new clay pot
- Gently remove the wrapping
- Rinse the teapot with warm water (no detergent), pay close attention to both the lid and the body.
- Find a big container large enough to submerge the teapot body and teapot lid side by side. If the lid is tied to the body of the pot, just keep the lid on.
- Line the bottom of the container with a towel, put the teapot and lid sided by side on the towel. Again, If the lid is tied to the body of the pot, just keep the lid on.
- Fill the container with boiling water, make sure the teapot and lid are submerged (this steps ensure the small clay particles lodged in the pot can be rinsed out.)
- Let the teapot sit in the water for 12 hours then take out the teapot and the lid.
- Repeat steps 5 & 6
- Rinse under the sink to make sure the inside of the pot does not feel sandy. If its still sandy, repeat steps 5 & 6 again.
- Lay it out to dry with the lid off or tilted. Once the pot is dried, it’s ready to use!
Seasoning a brand-new clay pot (Optional)
You can certainly season the pot with used tea leaves before brewing it in. Some like to use brand new tea leaves to season the pot, which is appropriate, though quite a waste. We typically use already brewed leaves.
- (Completing steps 1-9 above) Save the leaves from your day’s brewing using other tea ware, stuff the used tea leaves into your new clay pot
- Filled the teapot with boiling hot water
- Remove the leaves after 12 hours.
- Repeat for 2 more times.
- Remove used tea leaves, rinse with warm water then lay it out to dry on a towel with the lid off or tilted.
- Teapot is seasoned and ready to use!
Cleaning the teapot is easy if you follow one rule: No soap!
Clay absorbs flavors the same way it will absorb the soap like a sponge. If your soap is lavender scented, the clay pot will likely smell like lavender and brew tea with a lavender scent after.
To clean a clay pot:
- Remove used tea leaves with your fingers, use chopsticks or bamboo tweezers if the leaves are still hot.
- Rinse the body of the teapot and lid thoroughly with warm water for at least 20 seconds. Rub gently with your fingers to remove any stains. Pay attention to the spout area of the pot.
- Lay out the teapot out to dry on a towel with the lid off or tilted. That’s it!
We are busy people with packed schedules and sometimes a deep cleaning and a lengthy seasoning of a new teapot is just unlikely. That’s ok! Even if you skip all the steps I mentioned above, just remember two things.
Because the greatest benefits of a clay pot come from its porous unglazed clay, you want to avoid the below two things that will unfavorably scent your teapot:
- Never clean the pot with soap or dish detergent.
- Never brew blended and scented teas in the clay pot, particularly avoid artificially scented teas.
We sincerely hope this is a simple and helpful guide for caring for your clay pot. Brewing tea at home can be a beautiful and meditative ritual. It is a simple yet delicious process that helps us practice mindfulness and carves out a quick break during the day.
We hope you enjoy!
Where to buy a Clay Teapot
We offer a Taiwanese Clay Teapot which is perfect for everyday drinking. The Teapot comes with it's own build in filter.