I was surprised to find that there are differing views on cleaning the insides of a tea pot. Largely the differing views stem from the various types of tea pots, more than from the people’s personal proclivities when it comes to cleanliness or hygiene.
I find that by and large keeping your teapots and serving ware sparkling clean goes without saying, except in one instance, which I will touch on in moment.
If you have a glass tea pot, it should be washed carefully after every use. If they aren’t washed you will be able to see the residue that builds on the glass, which not only looks less than attractive, but also will affect the taste of other fine teas (for example: lighter green or white teas). For this reason, it may be wise to dedicate your glass tea pot only to lighter teas.
If you have a china or porcelain tea pot: While many tea lovers will give their tea pots a quick rinse and perhaps a weekly washing, others insist on washing it after every use. My only suggestion is to use a non-toxic soap, as tea pots collect residues which ultimately affect the taste of your tea – be it from the tea or from the dish soap. Also, never towel dry your teaware as that may leave lint. Just as I like to use my glass pot for lighter teas, I prefer to use my china tea pot for darker teas.
As there is an exception to any rule, sure enough this applies to washing tea pots too.
If you own a Yixing teapots (or Chinese clay pot), it is important NOT to wash the tea pot (though allowing it to air-dry thoroughly between uses is recommended). The tea will gradually leave a layer of residue on the inside of the pot and actually add to the flavor experience. This being said, it is highly recommended that you use the teapot for only one type of tea. You may have a Yixing for oolong, and another for black teas and a third for green teas. The variety of and delicate beauty of the Yixing pots make a beautiful addition to any tea lover’s collection.
Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Blog of Tea!
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