Much like certain teas, the yixing teapot (aka purple clay teapot) has a life of its own. Aroma is locked in and heat retention is on a separate level altogether. The clay absorbs the flavors of the tea it holds over time, gradually accumulating flavor and eventually reaching a point where it can enhance a tea’s flavor as the leaves steep inside. This is why one yixing teapot should be reserved for one tea type.
The steps might seem repetitive, but pouring hot water and tea over the yixing teapot allows the teapot to warm up and retain heat.
Preheat the teapot by pouring hot water over the empty teapot with the lid on, making sure to not only pour over the top in the center but to also wet the sides of the teapot.
Add desired amount of tea leaves to the teapot.
Pour hot water over the leaves and fill the teapot to the brim.
Take the lid and scrape off the bubbles on the surface.
This initial infusion is a first wash, which is used to ‘wake the leaves up’ and typically not consumed. Pour the tea into a separate cup or pitcher and put the lid back on the teapot.