Teapot Tips: Tie One On

a zhu ni yi xing teapot featuring a red string hand-tied by Grace Fong

After you season your new teapot there's one last thing you may want to do before you start brewing tea: tie a (usually red) string to connect the handle to the lid, using traditional Chinese decorative knots. While the strings are attractive, they're also functional. They help keep the lid from falling off and possibly breaking, and they also serve as a tiny hot pad, insulating a space on the lid to make it easier to hold the hot lid down with a finger while pouring.

Here in the teahouse the strings serve an additional purpose: with so many pots to keep track of, we use different color strings as a reminder of which tea a given pot is seasoned with. For example, an oolong pot for green oolong will have a green string; the same model of pot reserved for darker tea, such as Wu Yi Yan Cha, has a brown string.

Grace Fong ties most of our teapot strings, and we're planning to capture her technique on video before long. Meanwhile, we found a step-by-step explanation of string-tying online that we'd like to share. Give it a try! It's the perfect finish for your yi xing teapot!