• by vinux

Tea utensils are tools used for preparing, serving, and drinking tea. They can range from simple and inexpensive items such as tea balls or strainers to expensive and elaborate sets of specialized equipment. Common types of tea utensils include teapots, cups, kettles, strainers, teaspoons, and scoops.
Tea sets, also known as tea utensils or tea wares in ancient times. In the poem “Chu Jialinting Poem” by Tang Dynasty literary figure Pi Rixiu, there is a phrase of “Xiao Su Gui Yingyi Tea Utensils”. In the Song Dynasty, the emperor gave “tea utensils” as gifts. The Northern Song Dynasty painter Wen Tong had the poem of “Only Carrying Tea Utensils to Enjoy Quietness”. The Yuan Dynasty painter Wang Mian’s picture and poem “Blowing Reed Out of Gorges” has “wine jugs and tea sets on top of the boat”. In the early Ming Dynasty, Xu Ze, one of the four famous painters in Wu region, wrote when he invited friends to drink tea at night: “Tea utensils were still set up late at night and singing pot was not knocked awake.” It can be seen that whether it is Tang and Song poets or Yuan and Ming painters, their works often contain poetic phrases about “tea sets”. This shows that tea sets are an indispensable part of tea culture.

Tea sets, in the narrow sense, refer to tea cups, teapots, tea bowls, teacups, tea saucers and tea trays, etc., which are used for drinking tea. Chinese tea sets have a wide variety and beautiful shapes. In addition to practical value, they also have high artistic value, so they are famous both at home and abroad and have been favored by tea lovers of all ages.

Tang-White-Glazed Tea Set: Tea-Mortar, Wind Furnace, Tea Kettle, Plate with a Saucer and a Cover

In the Song Dynasty, tea drinking was mainly based on point tea, supplemented by fried tea. On the basis of point tea, it was elevated to fight tea, division tea and hundred games of tea. A cup is a call to the Song dynasty’s teacup. Due to the Song people’s worship of white soup color, black glaze cups were particularly popular in the Song dynasty. Black Glazed Cups are famous for their rabbit hair, oil drops and quail pattern produced by Fujian Jianyao. The bottom of the black glaze cups made in Jianyao were inscribed with “for imperial use” and “enter Chang”, which were tribute to the royal family of Song Dynasty.

Brewing Tea: Ming Dynasty Porcelain and Purple Clay.

The true popularity of loose-leaf tea occurred after the Hongwu 24th year (1391) of the Ming Dynasty. These loose-leaf teas no longer needed to be crushed and drunk as before, and their method of cooking was also different from that of previous generations. Whether it was kettle brewing or scooping, it was much simpler than before, and it also restored the natural nature of tea leaves. The teaware such as stone mill, mortar, claw, bamboo tube popular in previous generations were all discarded and no longer used; and the black glaze admired by the Song Dynasty also withdrew from the historical stage, replaced by white porcelain from Jingdezhen. Especially the white porcelain fired in Yongle period was white and dense with a glossy glaze, which had features of “thin like paper, white like jade, sound like music, bright like mirror”; people at that time called it “filling white”. The teacups fired with “filling white” glaze had a stable shape and balanced proportions.

In the Qing Dynasty, Tea was enjoyed in loose-leaf form. Scones were prepared for serving and a blue and white porcelain teapot with purple sand were used.

In the Qing Dynasty, the custom of drinking tea was no different from that of the Ming Dynasty, so the tea sets were basically a continuation and development of those in the Ming Dynasty. The Jingdezhen Porcelain Kiln in the Qing Dynasty reformed and innovated on the basis of the Ming Dynasty, producing not only traditional blue and white porcelain, plain tri-color porcelain, yurihong glaze and Doucai porcelain, but also newly created kinds such as fencai and falangcai.