To Reset My Pots or Not

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Baisao
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Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:16 pm

I am entertaining the idea of resetting some of my more frequently used teapots. Each has been used for about 10-15 years by myself. They all have a lovely external patina but have tea stains (of course) and some scale buildup internally from years of using a water with moderate mineral content (150 TDS). The exteriors are grubby but I kind of like the external patina so I am reluctant to do an aggressive reset if at all.

They still make great tasting tea but I wonder if they would be better or worse if I removed the internal stains and scale.

With this in mind, does it make sense to reset the interiors only or reset at all?

(Looking for opions from knowledgeable people who have been at this for at least as long as I have.)
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Victoria
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Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm

Well I haven’t been at this as long as your 15-20 years, I think I started my journey maybe 9-10 years ago. Anyway, I’ll pipe in here as I’m curious;
Depending on your use and cleaning ritual results will vary; teas have oils, they can become rancid and clog porous clay affecting steeping results. Some people love those shiny exteriors on their yixing pots, not sure why though, aesthetically I’m not a shiny pot fan. There may be some beneficial tea oils seaping back in after each use though.

Do you clean your pots with boiling water after using and thoroughly dry in the sun? Do your 10-15 year used pots smell good dry? Do you regularly pour tea on the outside of your pots to buff them up (just curious with this one)?

To test your pots I would try;
Compare brewing in your newly acquired antique pots (that have been reset and you’ve used a few time) the same tea as in your now pickled pots, to see if there is a noticeable difference.
Also, fill your 10-15 year used pots with boiling water and let that rest for 24hrs, and taste the water; does it taste good?

A side note; After steeping a tea in the same yixing pot for several days, I will pour boiling water in it twice and a third time let it rest overnight, and give it a 4th boiling water the next day before drying in the sun. The pots seem to enjoy this process.
Teachronicles
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Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:38 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm
Well I haven’t been at this as long as your 15-20 years, I think I started my journey maybe 9-10 years ago. Anyway, I’ll pipe in here as I’m curious;
Depending on your use and cleaning ritual results will vary; teas have oils, they can become rancid and clog porous clay affecting steeping results. Some people love those shiny exteriors on their yixing pots, not sure why though, aesthetically I’m not a shiny pot fan. There may be some beneficial tea oils seaping back in after each use though.

Do you clean your pots with boiling water after using and thoroughly dry in the sun? Do your 10-15 year used pots smell good dry? Do you regularly pour tea on the outside of your pots to buff them up (just curious with this one)?

To test your pots I would try;
Compare brewing in your newly acquired antique pots (that have been reset and you’ve used a few time) the same tea as in your now pickled pots, to see if there is a noticeable difference.
Also, fill your 10-15 year used pots with boiling water and let that rest for 24hrs, and taste the water; does it taste good?

A side note; After steeping a tea in the same yixing pot for several days, I will pour boiling water in it twice and a third time let it rest overnight, and give it a 4th boiling water the next day before drying in the sun. The pots seem to enjoy this process.
Victoria, with the 4 boils do you dedicate your pots to a specific tea? Or do you mix teas a lot?
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Victoria
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Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:54 pm

Teachronicles wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:38 pm
Victoria, with the 4 boils do you dedicate your pots to a specific tea? Or do you mix teas a lot?
Good question, I started cleaning this way for extended multi day steeps after our LA Club tastings when we use many of my pots. So yes a little mixing is going on, but within the same family. Some of the aged puerh and yancha really leave a strong residue, plus after several days of multi steeps I’d like to clear out any microbes settling in and getting too comfortable.
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Baisao
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Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:55 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm
Well I haven’t been at this as long as your 15-20 years, I think I started my journey maybe 9-10 years ago.
Just to clarify, I've only been at this for about 10-15 years. I waded in and then got heavily involved about 10 years ago as I started meeting local people.
Victoria wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm
Do you clean your pots with boiling water after using and thoroughly dry in the sun? Do your 10-15 year used pots smell good dry?
I don't rinse my pots with water but clear them of leaves and let them dry indoors. I've had too many things broken outside by squirrels and birds to leave my pots outside in the sun.
Victoria wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm
Do you regularly pour tea on the outside of your pots to buff them up (just curious with this one)?
I pour hot water or tea over the outsides of my Yixing teapots. It depends. Sometimes I don't pour anything over them at all. That said, they all have a nice patina from use. I buffed a teapot once and it shined up like a monk's head! I did that like 7 years ago and it still has a cue ball shine. It looks so ugly!
Victoria wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:45 pm
To test your pots I would try;
Compare brewing in your newly acquired antique pots (that have been reset and you’ve used a few time) the same tea as in your now pickled pots, to see if there is a noticeable difference.
Also, fill your 10-15 year used pots with boiling water and let that rest for 24hrs, and taste the water; does it taste good?
These seem like good tests to try. I seem to notice the positive effect of the clay more on the reset antique pot than in my seasoned antique pots. That is one of the things that has prompted me to contemplate resetting the pots.
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tealifehk
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Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:07 am

This may be worth considering:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 9814000945

Only been using Yixing pots for six years, but I've been brewing Chinese tea for 18! I'm going through the same struggle now. I don't know whether or not to clean my most-used pots.
oeroe
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Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am

I don't understand why one would clean a pot, unless there is some kind of problem with it..?

Even if one wants to change genre of a pot, I'd first just try brewing the "new" type of tea in it, and only scour it if there are problems.
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ShuShu
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Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:55 pm

Baisao wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:16 pm
I am entertaining the idea of resetting some of my more frequently used teapots. Each has been used for about 10-15 years by myself. They all have a lovely external patina but have tea stains (of course) and some scale buildup internally from years of using a water with moderate mineral content (150 TDS). The exteriors are grubby but I kind of like the external patina so I am reluctant to do an aggressive reset if at all.

They still make great tasting tea but I wonder if they would be better or worse if I removed the internal stains and scale.

With this in mind, does it make sense to reset the interiors only or reset at all?

(Looking for opions from knowledgeable people who have been at this for at least as long as I have.)
But why reset? what are you hoping to gain?
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:26 am

tealifehk wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:07 am
This may be worth considering:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 9814000945

Only been using Yixing pots for six years, but I've been brewing Chinese tea for 18! I'm going through the same struggle now. I don't know whether or not to clean my most-used pots.
That’s good stuff! I think that after a certain amount of yang hu the clay is no longer in play since the tea is mostly in contact with waxy substances coating the clay.

This fits with what I was observing on a recent antique that had been reset on the inside only (to preserve the external patina): much more interaction between the tea and the clay, resulting in more interesting brews.

The seasoned pots make a nice brew but I think that the clays are no longer playing much of a part. Shape, thickness, heat retention, and craftsmanship all still matter but it seems to me that the clay has become inert after so much seasoning.
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:36 am

ShuShu wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:55 pm
But why reset? what are you hoping to gain?
I hope to gain more flavorful tea.
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:37 am

oeroe wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am
I don't understand why one would clean a pot, unless there is some kind of problem with it..?
Based upon a recent experience with a reset pot and how my seasoned pots behave, I have a feeling that too much seasoning may be detrimental. Essentially, the internal surface has changed significantly from what it was. They are now coated with minerals and the natural waxes from teas brewed in these teapots. The result seems less lively and somewhat inert.

I wonder if others have had the same experience.
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tealifehk
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:49 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:37 am
oeroe wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:58 am
I don't understand why one would clean a pot, unless there is some kind of problem with it..?
Based upon a recent experience with a reset pot and how my seasoned pots behave, I have a feeling that too much seasoning may be detrimental. Essentially, the internal surface has changed significantly from what it was. They are now coated with minerals and the natural waxes from teas brewed in these teapots. The result seems less lively and somewhat inert.

I wonder if others have had the same experience.
It seems likely that the harder your water, the more calcium carbonate gets deposited on the walls (courtesy of the article pedant posted earlier). I received a pot from Ohio that has a little calcium deposit developing in it! Like a mini limestone rock!

It sounds like you end up with a clay pot with what is basically an exterior wax layer and a limestone and polyphenol/calcium precipitate interior. I still find my most used F1 pu erh shuiping nice and muting, so I am going to leave it be for now. Someone on TeaChat (from Mainland China) said pots were now scrubbed out by some aficionados for health reasons, so that may be something to consider!
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Tor
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:22 am

Baisao wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:37 am

Based upon a recent experience with a reset pot and how my seasoned pots behave, I have a feeling that too much seasoning may be detrimental. Essentially, the internal surface has changed significantly from what it was. They are now coated with minerals and the natural waxes from teas brewed in these teapots. The result seems less lively and somewhat inert.

I wonder if others have had the same experience.
I just reset my shudei Tokoname pot a couple of months ago. The pot is only 2 years old but lately I noticed that I missed the subtleties of sencha that I brewed in this pot. After resetting, it now makes cleaner and clearer tea. For me, sencha doesn't seem to benefit from a seasoned pot. Just my 2 cents.
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:55 pm

tealifehk wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:49 am
It seems likely that the harder your water, the more calcium carbonate gets deposited on the walls (courtesy of the article pedant posted earlier). I received a pot from Ohio that has a little calcium deposit developing in it! Like a mini limestone rock!

It sounds like you end up with a clay pot with what is basically an exterior wax layer and a limestone and polyphenol/calcium precipitate interior. I still find my most used F1 pu erh shuiping nice and muting, so I am going to leave it be for now.
That's precisely what I am thinking, from deposits to puerh teapot!
tealifehk wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:49 am
Someone on TeaChat (from Mainland China) said pots were now scrubbed out by some aficionados for health reasons, so that may be something to consider!
This sounds a bit silly. They will drink far more of these fatty acids that are naturally suspended in the tea than what is being leached from the seasoning of the teapot. What's more, I imagine their average meal is more unhealthy than the fatty acids in tea.
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Baisao
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Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:01 pm

Tor wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:22 am
I just reset my shudei Tokoname pot a couple of months ago. The pot is only 2 years old but lately I noticed that I missed the subtleties of sencha that I brewed in this pot. After resetting, it now makes cleaner and clearer tea. For me, sencha doesn't seem to benefit from a seasoned pot. Just my 2 cents.
I agree with you. Good shudei doesn't need to be seasoned any more than having frequent use with a wash of clean water before setting aside to dry.

I did have one brown clay kyusu from Tokonome that benefited from a month of seasoning. It was not a low-end teapot but the clay didn't seem to play well with sencha. It's a shelf bunny now. :-/
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