We were chatting with a customer today who was looking for an yi xing teapot. When we asked what type of tea he would be brewing in it, surprisingly, he responded, green tea. Of course, according to conventional wisdom, that's a no-no. Yi xing teaware is typically supposed to be for more oxidized teas, especially oolong and puerh. But the interesting thing is, the famed Yi Xing kilns aren't in Fujian or Yunnan, they're in Jiangsu Province, near Tai Hu (Lake Tai), one of China's most esteemed green tea areas. To take only the most famous example, bi luo chun grows in the Tai Hu region. So it's hardly a stretch to imagine a long history of matching yi xing teapots and green tea.
In The Beauty of Chinese Yixing Teapots and the Finer Arts of Tea Drinking, a book that focuses on matching teapots with their ideal tea, author Lim Kean Siew claims that certain green teas, including huang shan mao feng and long jing, are perfect mates for members of his impressive yi xing teapot collection. Our customer, Michael, noted, "I actually use a tan yi xing pot with a Japanese green at home (for the last five years or so) and pot’s evolution is fascinating and beautiful. A green-gold patina is enveloping the pot from the bottom up." We urged him to send a photo and will post it if it arrives.
What's your experience? Have you found success brewing green tea in an yi xing teapot? Share your stories and photos. We're all eager to learn. Certainly there are concerns about holding too much heat and "cooking" very delicate green teas, but sometimes conventional wisdom isn't so wise!