- by vinux
The culture of Chinese tea sets is unique and special, with a long history. There are various types of tea sets, made from materials such as porcelain, lacquerware, jade and silver. Each type has a distinct traditional style and is considered to be an important part of the Chinese culture. For example, the Gongfu Cha tea set is used in the gongfu cha ceremony to prepare the finest tea. The Yixing clay teapot is renowned for its ability to absorb flavor and is traditionally used to brew oolong tea. In addition to these two types of tea sets, there are many more that can be found in China. They all add to the richness and diversity of Chinese culture.
Chinese tea sets not only differ in material selection, have beautiful appearances, and are highly sophisticated in technology, but are also rare and precious works of art. They contain some Chinese culture.
Tea sets mainly refer to tea cups, tea bowls, teapots, tea plates and trays. The earliest Chinese tea set is called “can”, which has a small mouth and big abdomen, made of clay. “Cooking Tea with Utensils” recorded in King Xiang of the Western Han Dynasty’s “Children’s Agreement” refers to this clay tea set. The yue kiln celadon chicken head pot and ear cup of the Western Jin Dynasty were the earliest porcelain teaware. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties, drinking tea was quite common. By the Tang Dynasty, drinking tea had become popular among both royalty and ordinary people, and teaware had developed from blue-glazed and white-glazed pottery to metal teaware and porcelain. At that time, noble families mainly used gold, silver, copper, tin and other metal teaware as well as jade stone and agate teaware; while ordinary people still used ceramic teacups as their main utensils. At that time, there was also a bowl tray called “Tea Tray”, which was said to be created by Cui Ning’s daughter in Chengdu Prefecture of Sichuan Province when she served tea for fear of the cumbersome bowl . During the Song Dynasty， people mainly used tea cups for drinking tea，“holding a cup to sip” had become one of the contents at banquets at that time. Huazhan looks like a small teacup，with wide mouth but thin bottom，coming in various styles such as black glaze， sauce glaze，blue glaze and blue & white glaze，among which black glaze is the main color. Among them，liuxia zhan (溜霞盏) 、tuhao zhan (兔毫盏) are still top grade utensils for “fighting over tea” at that time《Tao Shuo》records that “by Song Dynasty porcelain cups have been used for fighting over Tea”。The Ming Dynasty was dominated by white porcelain cups；followed by porcelain pots and purple sand pots。By Qing Dynasty Guangzhou Zhijin Color Porcelain （广州织金彩瓷 ）and Fuzhou Tuotai Lacquerware （ 福州脱胎漆器 ）had emerged one after another。Since then，tea sets have come in all shapes and sizes﹐beautiful beyond comparison ﹐ forming a common art form。
China is the hometown of international ceramics. Traditional tea sets are mainly made of ceramics, so the evolution of tea sets through the ages has a close relationship with the development of ceramics industry. From earthenware to stoneware, then developing into glazed pottery, and if the temperature is higher than glaze pottery it will be fired into porcelain. The tea sets from Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province have beautiful shapes and jade-like luster. Being as white as jade, bright like a mirror, thin like paper, and sounding like a bell, they are top grade among Chinese tea sets. There are elegant blue-and-white porcelain tea sets, crystal clear blue-and-white delicate porcelain tea sets, colorful glazed porcelain tea sets, brightly colored painted porcelain tea sets, exquisite and light thin walled teasets, ancient simple yet beautiful colored porcelain teasets and new style colored porcelain teasets with different colors between purple and red. All of these are regarded as the essence of Chinese ceramic civilization by people all around the world.
With this kind of teaware for making tea, both the warm and bright reddish brown soup of black tea or the clear and lush green soup of green tea will bring pleasure to your heart and soul; Moreover, with its beautiful artistic shape, it gives people a feeling of peace and elegance.
Yixing’s purple clay teapots, known for their distinctive craftsmanship, are always popular among people. They have a smooth texture, antique elegance, varied shapes and endless charm. Some look like tree stumps, some like bamboo segments, some like birds and some like fruits; they are vivid and lifelike, combining the artistic elements of painting, calligraphy and sculpture with both practical and aesthetical value; they are gems of Chinese teapots.
Purple sand pot is popular among people, not only because of its high practical value but also because of its ancient and pure style, like an antique. The commonly used purple sand pot, due to the long-term nourishment of tea water, has absorbed fat and fluorine in tea on the wall of the pot. It has a pearl-like luster. The longer it is used, the more aged and comfortable it looks, showing its elegant and unsophisticated style.