Cultivating Teapots

You buy a new zisha teapot, but it's not ready for use. So what can you do? You can take it home and start the long process of rearing it yourself. But if you don't have much time, that could take a very very long time before you notice any results. Or, let's say for example, you're drinking mainly sheng puer these days, but would really like this new pot to be used for Tieguanyin. But you don't have plans to drink Tieguanyin in the next few months. Is there a solution? Yes, there is. All you have to do is find a tea fanatic who will cultivate your teapot for you. And, maybe say after a few months, you can get your teapot back and start using it. Of course, it would be good if you could help your friend to cultivate one of his/her teapots with the sheng puer you're into.

In Fujian; and even all across China, this is a common practice. You buy a particular teapot from a local shop. The shop owner is friendly to you. And he/she agrees to cultivate your pot for you. So not only do you get a great pot, you get the shop owner's expertise in cultivating your teapot. And tea will be brewed in your teapot daily. And tea essence from all the great teas customers are sampling in the shop all day get poured over your teapot. So you end up with a great pot without all the work.

Of course that's in China. But if we're in North America, what can we do? Maybe we can have a buddy system and cultivate pots together with a friend. Or maybe we need to find a teapotsitter who can cultivate our teapots for us all day. Yeah. That's just what I need - a teapotsitter. My poor pots are too neglected already.


Anonymous said...

Cultivate teapots?
what does it mean!... put a plant in it to grow? put the pot in the ground? What do you do with cultivating?

the word got me very curious!!!


Warren said...

Cultivate - not like growing plants. More like "cultivate virtue", as in the ancient Chinese philosophy. But as in the case for cultivate teapots, it's the direct Chinese translation of the term - to what people refer in the West as "season a teapot". Cultivate to me seems to be a better word. Season a teapot? Do you add salt and pepper to taste?