"Aaargh," as Charlie Brown would say! My tea pot and my tea strainers are all dirty looking. Each pot of tea has left it's brown imprint on them and it is time to do something about them. So, out comes the vinegar, the baking soda, a clean dish cloth and my tea brush. The pots are fairly easy, hot water and baking soda, let them rest for a while and then scrub with the dish cloth. The strainers are more of a problem, as the very tiny holes are clogged. I coat them with baking soda, pour on some vinegar and when it has stopped fizzing, I scrub with my tea brush. Rinse everything really, really well. There, we're all clean and tidy again.
I hope you noticed that nowhere am I mentioning soap or bleach. This is because they both leave a residue of scent, which would make my tea taste unpleasant. Both vinegar and baking soda will dissipate without leaving aromas or tastes you don't want in your tea. But you must rinse superbly well.
This is in total contrast to the use and care of those delightful little pots made of YiXing clay. These pots are conditioned in the beginning by simmering them in the tea you will drink out of them in the future. They absorb the tea flavors, which will enrich each cup. Traditionally, you would pour some tea over the pot, as well as in it. It is said that after many years, you can brew tea from the pot without adding any more tea leaves. My pots are not that old, but I have different pots I use for green, Oolong and white. I haven't noticed any accumulation of flavor, but I have only had my pots for a few years.
Do any of you have any old YiXing pots that exude flavor on their own?
I am not quite sure how to clean my Sheffield silver pot. I don't want to take off any of the inside silver and expose the copper. Guess I better do some research.