May 28th, '17, 16:03
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by MmBuddha » May 28th, '17, 16:03

I'm still fairly new to brewing in clay, and have been using my first yixing pots tentatively, decanting the leaves and rinsing/drying as soon as I'm finished. I often like to infuse and re-infuse a tea intensely like this, but lately I've been more inclined to brew tea sporadically throughout the day, or into the evening, leaving the leaves in the vessel until my next session. I've felt fine doing this in a porcalin gaiwan, but I wanted to ask others opinions about using a yixing pot in this way.

The unglazed and absorptive nature of clay is clearly one of its strengths, but is there any danger of undesirable staining, or blocking of the 'pores' etc, if tea leaves are left in the pot for hours at a time? And are there any do's and don'ts in regards to different types of tea, i.e. might a strong shou puer be a problem brewed like this? To clarify, I'd never leave the leaves in overnight, nor long enough for mould to be a concern, but I hoped I might ask what other's practices are in terms of leaving leaves in the pot throughout the day before trying it myself.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

User avatar
May 28th, '17, 17:19
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 19th, '15, 07:03
Location: on the road

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by kuánglóng » May 28th, '17, 17:19

Even though I'm pretty picky about my clay pots I do extended sessions all the time, even overnight. Not with all teas but mainly with some pu erhs and other teas that don't go downhill that way (like e.g. Darjeelings) - no issues whatsoever.
Once the leaves are exhausted I remove them, simply clean the inside of the pot with hot water and allow it to completely dry (without the lid) before I use it again.

May 28th, '17, 19:15
Posts: 672
Joined: Feb 12th, '10, 13:09
Location: Cambridge, USA

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by steanze » May 28th, '17, 19:15

I don't like to do that. Depending on how humid it is in your apartment, you might have mold issues. But if it's dry enough you might get away with it.

May 29th, '17, 06:41
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by MmBuddha » May 29th, '17, 06:41

Thanks for the input both of you, it's interesting to see differing opinions. I am a little concerned about mould too, although I'd say the humidity is low where I live. Does anyone have any thoughts on how long it might take mould to grow on wet tea in a pot, or at least bad smells etc enough to be an issue?

I'm looking to extend my tea sessions and get the most out of a given tea, but maintaining my yixing pots is a priority, so I'd gladly err on the side of caution.

Would love to hear others thoughts too.

May 29th, '17, 07:10
Posts: 13
Joined: May 19th, '17, 17:37
Location: London, UK

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by VoirenTea » May 29th, '17, 07:10

My current clay pot is not real Yixing, but in my house, in the UK, I have no problem leaving leaves in it for multiple days with no mould or anything nasty happening. They remain damp and don't dry out, but don't grow anything either.

I'll use it 0-2 times a day during that period, so it is getting very hot water poured through periodically.

How is your climate, and how fast do things go mouldy in your house?

May 29th, '17, 07:20
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 5th, '17, 12:50

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by MmBuddha » May 29th, '17, 07:20

VoirenTea wrote: My current clay pot is not real Yixing, but in my house, in the UK, I have no problem leaving leaves in it for multiple days with no mould or anything nasty happening. They remain damp and don't dry out, but don't grow anything either.

I'll use it 0-2 times a day during that period, so it is getting very hot water poured through periodically.

How is your climate, and how fast do things go mouldy in your house?
I'm also in the UK, not exactly famous for its tropical climate, so perhaps mould would of less concern here? I suppose really I'm wondering if brewing tea in this way is likely to cause any adverse effects on the clay/quality of tea brewed in the long run. If it is I'd (reluctantly) avoid brewing like this entirely, as i'm not looking to replace my pots anytime soon, but it would certainly be a great way to get the most from a good tea.

May 29th, '17, 08:29
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 23rd, '17, 13:51

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by andrewnewman » May 29th, '17, 08:29

MmBuddha wrote: I'm also in the UK, not exactly famous for its tropical climate, so perhaps mould would of less concern here? I suppose really I'm wondering if brewing tea in this way is likely to cause any adverse effects on the clay/quality of tea brewed in the long run. If it is I'd (reluctantly) avoid brewing like this entirely, as i'm not looking to replace my pots anytime soon, but it would certainly be a great way to get the most from a good tea.
Since un-glazed clay will absorb the tea flavor over time it is reasonable to imagine that it would also absorb the moldy flavor if mold were to grow on your tea leaves. Likely highly undesirable.

That said, I have left tea leaves in a yixing pot for 8 or more hours many many times for a late day re-steep and never had any difficulty. Keep in mind, however, that I tend to use relatively inexpensive yixing pots for my daily tea.

May 29th, '17, 08:54
Posts: 13
Joined: May 19th, '17, 17:37
Location: London, UK

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by VoirenTea » May 29th, '17, 08:54

You could test by leaving them a long time in your porcelain gaiwan (with the lid on, probably, to have something where more moisture is definitely trapped?) and see if the kind of timeframes you're thinking of have any adverse circumstances. If you get mould in that then it's easy to clean. If your tea is fine, it should also be fine in the Yixing for that sort of time, and you can leave the lid off that too.

Or if you were really worried you could get one of the incredibly cheap fake aliexpress pots to do the test with, because in terms of mould-growing the situation ought to be the same. Just don't drink from that one!

(I do leave the lid on my pot).

User avatar
May 29th, '17, 13:15
Posts: 813
Joined: Nov 13th, '12, 13:49
Location: santa monica, california, usa
Contact: victoria3

Re: Leaving tea in a yixing pot

by victoria3 » May 29th, '17, 13:15

I think it depends on the teas longevity and if you are in a humid or dry climate. Here in Los Angeles, with very low humidity levels, I have steeped for a few days Bai Hao oolong and other oolongs overnight in yixing with no problems. Finer green leaves though will degenerate quickly if exposed to air, so with these I place them in a sealed glass container in the refridgerator to steep overnight.

+ Post Reply