- by vinux
Black porcelain tea ware is a type of traditional Chinese pottery and ceramic ware. The material is made of clay, which is fired in a kiln at high temperatures, resulting in solid and durable pieces. Black porcelain is typically glazed with black-hued lacquer, giving it its distinct look. This type of tea ware has been used for centuries in China for both traditional and modern teas. It has a classic style that complements the flavors of any tea, and its elegant looks add to the beauty of any tea table setting. Whether you are looking for an everyday teapot or an exquisite piece of art to display in your home, black porcelain tea ware is sure to bring out the beauty of any cup of tea.
Black porcelain tea ware, beginning in late Tang Dynasty, flourished in Song Dynasty, continued in Yuan Dynasty and declined in Ming and Qing Dynasties. This was because since the Song Dynasty, the method of drinking tea had gradually changed from the Tang method of frying tea to dot tea, while the popular Doucha of Song dynasty created conditions for the rise of black porcelain tea ware.
Introduction to Black Porcelain Tea Sets:
Black porcelain tea sets are renowned for their superior craftsmanship and exquisite beauty. The distinctive black glaze is applied over a high-quality stoneware body, creating a timeless look that has been admired by connoisseurs throughout the ages. These sets often feature stunning floral or geometric designs and may include teapots, cups, saucers, sugar bowls, and cream pitchers. Whether used for formal ceremonies or simply enjoyed in everyday life, black porcelain tea sets make any setting more elegant.
In order to measure the effect of tea during Song Dynasty, people first look for its colour and evenness to be “very white”; second, they observe if there is watermark when connecting the tea soup and cup, with “no watermark on cups” being ideal. Cai Xiang, who was then the Three Offices’ Attending Officer, said it clearly in his Tea Record: “view its face as very white; cups having no watermarks is the best; during Jian’an test, those with watermarks come first shall be negative while those which can last long will win”. And black ceramic teacups just like what Zhu Mu said in Wonders of Embracing Views that “tea color is white whereas entering black cups will easily tell its marks”. Therefore, Song’s black ceramic teacups became one of the biggest varieties among all other kinds of ceramics teawares. Kilns from Fujian JinYao, Jiangxi Jizhou YaO, Shanxi Yucheng Yao and WuZhou Yao conducted massive production of black ceramic teacups and became the main sources for them. Amongst all kilns producing black ceramic teawares, JinYao’s produced “Jian Cups” received high praises. In Cai Xiang’s Tea Record it says: “The ones made during Jian’an era are most needed; others either thin or colored purple are not comparable.” Unique formula applied on Jian Cups during burning process creates hare-fur stripes, partridges spots and Sunday spots on its glaze surface. Once tea soup enters a cup like this, it will be especially eye-catching.
It can emit colorful dots of light, increasing the charm of Doucha. Since the Ming Dynasty, due to the different methods of “cooking” compared to the Song Dynasty, black porcelain built lamp holders were “seemingly not suitable for use”, only as a “preparation for one kind”.
Black ceramic tea ware began in the late Tang Dynasty, flourished in the Song Dynasty, continued in the Yuan Dynasty, and declined in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This is because since the Song Dynasty, tea drinking methods have gradually changed from frying tea in the Tang Dynasty to brewing tea. And the popular teapot of the Song Dynasty also created conditions for the rise of black porcelain tea ware. The Song people measured the effect of pot tea. First, they looked at the color and luster of the tea soup and its uniformity. They took “fresh white” as a priority; second, they looked at whether there was water mark or not between the soup flower and teacup, with “no water mark on teacup” being superior.
At the time, Cai Xiang, the Three-Way Officer in charge of the Affairs, made it quite clear in his “Tea Record”: “The best tea is viewed by its bright white face without a trace of water; in Jian’an pot tests, those with water traces are at a disadvantage, and those lasting longer are victorious”. Black porcelain teaware was just like what Zhu Mu from the Song Dynasty said in “Fangyu Shenglan”: “Tea color is white, entering black cups, with easily detectable traces”. Therefore, Song Dynasty’s porcelain tea cups became the biggest variety among all porcelain teaware.