Teapots! Wedding YiXing

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So this week, my teapot post is starting where I meant to start last week, with our first teapot, a YiXing we received as a wedding gift from one of De’s best friends, Maddie.

Isn’t she a beaut? She came in her own little box with a card explaining the History, Use, and Care. It wasn’t until…well, just now that I realized what a treasure this little pot is. When we got it, we smiled politely, said “thank you”, and put on a shelf in its box until we could properly display it. Then we started collecting teapots and remembered we had this one, so it finally got a place of honor at the top of our bookcase o’ teapots.

History: (from the included card) YiXing teapots first appeared in the YiXing dynasty (pronounced “ee-shing”) region of China during the Sung dynasty (960-1279 ME). Since then, they have become the preferred tea brewing vessel of the chinese and of tea aficionados worldwide. They are known for their unique and beautiful designs, as well as the purple clay from which they are made that becomes seasoned with continued use.

Use and Care: (from the included card)

1. Preheat your YiXing teapot by filling it with hot water and then draining it.

2. Place the recommended amount of loose tea into the preheated YiXing teapot.

3. Fill with hot water and follow the directions on your tea package for appropriate steeping time.

4. Enjoy your tea either by pouring it into a cup or by drinking directly from the spout of your YiXing teapot, which is the traditional way.

Before using your teapot for the first time, rinse the inside thoroughly with hot water. To clean your teapot, simply empty the leaves and rinse the teapot with hot water. Never use soaps or cleansers, as they may be absorbed by the porous clay and interfere with the seasoning of your teapot and the taste of tea brewed in it.

Here’s the point where I admit something that will make the tea community weep at the waste of a beautiful YiXing, for these little beauties are prized among traditional green and oolong drinkers.

I will never use this pot.

It is beautiful, and I am extremely grateful to have it as part of my collection, but it will never be used. At least, not by me. De, maybe, but I doubt it. You remember the issue I had with “tea for one” sets? That’s my issue with this. My choices are to pour it into a cup, in which case I’m dirtying a teapot for something I could have easily done in a cup, or to drink it straight from the spout which gives me two more options. I can either drink the tea while it’s still way too hot for me to enjoy, or I can let the leaves oversteep and become bitter in the time it tea for the tea to cool to a drinkable temperature.

I’m considering using it to make a cup of Milk Oolong, just to say I’ve used it, but it will never be one of my heavily used teapots like Bertha or Lily (you’ll meet them later)

For the record, my other bad tea habits are that I always add at least one teaspoon of sugar to my tea, and I always wait until my tea has cooled considerably before I drink. I’m more of a “good cup of lukewarm tea” kind of gal instead of a “good cup of hot”.

Regardless, this is a lovely teapot to start off our collection, and I love it. It was one of the first “luxury” items in our new home and for that alone, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

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