Yixing teaware is made from very high quality clay from the area aroung the city of Yixing in the Jiangsu province of Eastern China. It has been used since the Song dynasty (960–1279). Yixing teaware is prized because it is incredibly heat retentive and the unglazed surface absorbs the tea and creates a more complex flavour. For this reason, yixing teaware should never be washed with detergents, but with water only. Tea connoisseurs recommend using each teapot for only one kind of tea.
Before using your new Yixing teapot, it is essential to rinse it in boiling water to remove bits of clay and unnecessary glazing applied by the crafter for aesthetic purposes. The process can be as simple as a good, thorough rinsing with lots of boiling water or as complicated as soaking it in tea for days. It is up to the purchaser to decide their preference in how best to season the teapot. Extended soaking is not necessary and does not enhance the teapot's performance but many like the idea of this more romantic method.