Awakening old Yixing pots is usually an insanely exciting experience. Many years ago, I found some nice and very rare old Yixing pots of the 1970s. Enthusiastically, I poured boiling water to awaken it. I heard one of the worst sound in my life i.e. the sound of a cracking teapot. Not believing my ears and without thinking, I immediately continued to pour boiling water into another teapot and the same thing happen. In a day, I cracked two rare 1970s Yixing teapots and that experience really taught me a big lesson.

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For old Yixing teapots, e.g. 60s-80s pots or for unused old Yixing teapot, it is necessary to slowly wake it up after years of hibernation. After hibernating for a few decades, the pot could be too dry, crevices not settle in, or nooks and corners need to be ironed out.

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For initiating old teapot, gently clean the teapot with a soft brush and soak them in clean water in a large clean container for one or two days. After that, boil the teapot in clean water in a very clean large pot. Turn off the heat immediately when the water boils to prevent any damages to the teapot caused by rattling. NEVER BOIL A TEAPOT CONTINUOSLY AS THE RATTLING WILL DAMAGE THE TEAPOT. I usually go through this process a few times. After that I would boil the pot with tea leaves and let it sit for a day and the whole process may repeat again.

I would then use the teapot as a pitcher and pour brewed tea into it and use it as serving pitcher for a few  weeks before I set the teapot for brewing tea. For initial use of the teapot  for brewing tea, I would normally use lower temperature until I am confident that the hibernation period is over and the teapot has settled in and can handle high heat brewing.  To take care of the teapot, please refer to here.

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Most of the time, we will be insanely enthusiastic when we find a treasure but it is wise to be patience and slowly initiate them conscientiously. Always think of the consequences of being impatience then we will be naturally more careful.

Lesson Learned!