• by vinux

Jingdezhen, known as the “Source of Porcelain and Home of Tea”, is closely related to the development and decline of porcelain and tea in its emergence and growth.

Tang Xianzu, a great dramatist in the Ming Dynasty, praised “Fuliang Tea” in his work “Fuliang County New Lecture Hall Fu”: “Now Fuliang Tea is famous all over the world, only clear and mellow. It is also due to its artful roasting. Fuliang porcelain is more lustrous than water jade, and it is also due to its carefully fired kilns.” This fully affirms the historical position of “Porcelain and Tea”.

Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, when it comes to discussing tea ware and elegant objects, “Tao must be favored, porcelain must be Jingdezhen” has been a prevailing style until now. Anyone understanding tea appreciates that Jingdezhen porcelain is irreplaceable.

Now, the culture of porcelain and tea has become the genetic and distinctive characteristics of Jingdezhen City. Next, let’s uncover the mysterious veil between porcelain and tea.

The Origin of Porcelain and Tea

Porcelain and tea have a long history in China. The earliest known works of both were created during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Porcelain, also known as china, was first developed in China during the Tang Dynasty. The Chinese used clay mixed with other materials to create a unique type of pottery which was later perfected during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Tea is believed to have been discovered by the legendary Emperor Shennong around 2737 BC. The emperor is said to have boiled water in a pot filled with tea leaves for his own consumption. Tea was then widely consumed during the Tang Dynasty and became even more popular during the Song Dynasty, when it began to be sold commercially.

Both porcelain and tea have become integral parts of Chinese culture over centuries, and continue to be produced today in various styles and forms throughout China.

The relationship between tea and porcelain has always been a focus of research for those studying the history of porcelain and tea. One of the earliest records of this connection is found in Du Yu’s “Well Fu” from the Western Jin Dynasty, which states: “The vessel is chosen from clay, coming from East Asia”. This sentence has long been a focus of ceramic research and an invaluable source of information on the history of porcelain.

In the stellar galaxy of culture, porcelain has been shining uninterruptedly. Different porcelains also show different thoughts and cultures in different times. Looking at history through porcelain has always been an important way for us to visit antiquity and modernity.

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Blue porcelain teapot

The shape of Qingci’s teacup is also very rich, with lotus, sunflower, hibiscus and other flower-shaped mouth styles. Xu Kun’s “skillfully dyeing the spring water with bright moonlight, gently stirring the thin ice to fill the green cloud”, and Shi Jianwu’s “the new Shu tea fills the Yue bowl for the first time, and the light smoke is evenly stirred”, are all praises to Yueyao Qingci. It can be seen how beautiful the glaze color of Yueyao Qingci’s teacup was at that time.

White porcelain teaware

White porcelain appears more frequently in the north, and Bai Juyi once poemed: “The white porcelain bowl is extremely clean.” The powder-green glaze on the colored porcelain tea sets is thick and the glaze surface is transparent and glossy. Its appearance is soft and light, its production volume is high, its quality is excellent, it can make plain tea but with a unique flavor, which was widely loved by people of that time.

Chinese black porcelain tea ware

The black porcelain body is thick and sturdy. Its rough and majestic shape highlights its masculine beauty in its firmness. When drinking tea with a black porcelain teapot, you can feel the warm mellowness, solemn elegance, and more than the officials and wealthy merchants used, making it an ideal choice for making tea.

Chinaware Teapot

The Tang Dynasty yellow glazed porcelain ware was mainly used for production of vessels, mostly tea sets, including bowls, cups, cups and pots. The body is thick and the surface layer is transparent glass glaze, with yellow as the main color. The birth of flower glaze is an innovation of Tang porcelain which emphasized its practicality first, and then its artistic value.