• by vinux

A tea cup is a utensil used to hold tea water. Water comes from the teapot, poured into the cup, and then served to guests for tasting. This is nothing new to us. But often what we come into contact with everyday can have many things we don’t know.

As for tea cups, they come in different sizes, shapes, colors, materials and even each cup has its own name. So let’s start with the cup shapes of these cups and get to know their names today.


Tea ware. With an open mouth, slant body, deep belly and encircled foot, the body is slightly small. In the Song Dynasty, there were black, white, sauce, green, white and blue-white glaze tea cups. The black glaze was the most expensive. The Tianmu cup was also called Tianmu cup and Jian cup.

Press the cup.

A kind of cup shape. The mouth is flat and outwardly slanting, the belly wall is almost vertical, inward from the lower belly wall, and circled foot. When held in the hand, the slightly outwardly slanting mouth edge just presses against the hand edge, the volume is moderate, the weight is suitable, it fits firmly to the hand, so it is called “compression-handed cup”. The most famous one is Ming Yongle blue and white compression-handed cup.


Turn the mouth outward, slightly contract the abdomen, and roll up round. The thin and fine texture of the tire is also the most commonly used and most common shape. The roundness of tea entering the mouth is higher than that of the previous one, but it is more realistic and normal. The degree of aroma gathering and flavor gathering is higher than that of the previous one, with a overall feeling more natural and real.

Bending Cup

A bending cup is a traditional Chinese drinking vessel. It is shaped like an arched bridge and has two handles on either side. The cup’s design symbolizes the idea of “bending the waist in respect” towards one’s elders. In other words, it represents a gesture of humility and respect for those who are more senior or experienced than oneself. Additionally, the cup has been used to mark important occasions such as weddings and festivals.

This is a proverb about being submissive, which originates from “The Biography of Tao Qian in the Book of Jin”. Since then, “not bowing down for five dou of rice” has become a nickname for having backbone. The height and size of the bowing cup are just right, it gathers aroma and taste, and also fits the curve of the hand.

Six-sided Cup

Anyone who likes to collect Ruyao koubei should be immune to the hexagonal ones. It has a moderate size and shape, which is pleasing to the eye, hexagonal in shape, upright in shape, clear in lines and corners, with Ru glaze, more round when used. The six sides are straight and up-curved, while the middle is curved.

Lotus petal cup

Apply your glaze, different from the open-mouth cup shape is a small lotus petal embellished at the cup mouth, like a newborn. Plain and elegant, glossy and moderate, practical and generous. The cup body opens like fish scales, cicada wings shape, after long use, the tea color will rise in the cracks, forming a beautiful pattern of unpredictable changes.

The Round Harmony Cup

The drum of the belly is slightly outward, and the aperture is slightly inward, but it is relatively authentic and normal. However, the effect of gathering fragrance and flavor is obviously better, and the overall taste is the best.

The Foudou Cup

A type of cup-shaped ware popular during the Jiajing period of the Ming dynasty, named for its resemblance to a square measure. In ancient times, it was not as easy to make square vessels as round vessels using pottery wheels to directly pull the clay body because of its special craftsmanship, which required the clay body to be made into pieces and glued together. Due to the complexity of the process and technical limitations, Jiajing square measure cups were mostly irregular in shape. During the Qing Kangxi period, a bracket type of square measure cup appeared. With a transverse beam inside the cup connecting both sides of the inner wall, it strengthened the strength of the square measure cup in the firing process, making it extremely regular in shape.

The advantage of this large mug is that the tea broth feels most rounded when it enters the mouth. However, this is caused by the principle of physics, because the opening is large, the height is low, and the surface tension of the liquid is the greatest, not the roundness of the tea broth itself. In terms of aroma and flavor intensity, this cup is the lowest.

Chicken Coop Cup

The cup is wide-mouthed, shallow-bellied and has a resting foot. On the cup are painted roosters, hens and chicks, with rocks, orchids, peonies in between. Thus it is named the Chicken Tank Cup. During the Ming Dynasty’s Chenghua period the Chicken Tank Cup gained much fame overnight. The replicas made during the Qing Dynasty’s various reigns were especially lifelike when imitated during Kangxi and Yongzheng periods.

The High-Heeled Cup

This type of cup is named after its high foot below the body. It has a slightly slanted mouth, an ample bottom near the base, and a high foot with bamboo-joint, cylindrical, square or other shapes. It has been produced in Ming and Qing dynasties and comes in varieties like blue-and-white or doucai.

Chicken heart cup

The shape is open-mouthed and inward below the mouth, with a thin bottom and a round foot. Because the cup heart is concave with a deep circular swirl, the bottom heart is convex in shape of chicken heart, hence the name. It was a product during Ming Dynasty. During Yongle period in Jingdezhen kiln there were two kinds of chicken heart cups, blue and white glazed ones. Now there are still some handed down pieces.

Foot Cup

It is a popular cup style during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, named for its cup bottom without an encircling foot and an inwardly concave bed foot. There are varieties of white glaze, blue-and-white porcelain, five colors, pink color, and ink color.

Lohan Cup

Bell cup

Also known as the Yǒngzhōng Cup, Golden Bell Cup, or Pánshì Cup, these cups were popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. With its outward-sloping rim, deep belly, and circular foot resembling an inverted bell, it was aptly named. During the periods of the Míng Chénghuà, Jiājìng, and Wànlì there were varieties such as white glaze, Doucai ware, and blue-and-white porcelain. Development of varieties continued into the Qīng Kāngxī and Yōngzéng Periods with blue-and-white ware and multicolored pieces.

Horseshoe Cup

A horseshoe cup is a type of cup made from a single piece of horseshoe-shaped metal. It usually has two handles, one on each side, and a wide base for stability. The cups are often engraved with decorative designs or patterns. They are most commonly used to serve drinks at special occasions or as part of a decorative home décor.

Popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Open mouth, sloping abdomen, small flat bottom inside, most official kiln vessels have year marks on the bottom, shape inverted like a horseshoe. In the Ming Dynasty, blue-green, sprinkle blue, peacock blue and white glaze were common. During the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty, they were more popular and often made with colored glazes. Commonly decorated with four flower clusters on the abdomen.

High Foot Bowl

The shape is similar to the high-foot cup, but slightly larger. Dragon Kilns of Yuan Dynasty and Jingdezhen Kilns flourished during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, producing various types such as celadon glaze, egg white glaze, blue and white porcelain and red underglaze.

Gongwan – Serving Bowl

The bowl has an outwardly curved rim, a broad and deep belly, and a symmetrical shape. It is mostly used in the palace, hence its name. During the Ming Dynasty Zhengde period it was renowned for its firing technique and was called the “Zhengde Bowl”.