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1. Yixing Clay Teapots: These teapots are made from Yixing clay and are very popular in East Asia. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can hold both cold and hot beverages.
2. Japanese Tea Sets: Japanese tea sets usually come with a collection of small bowls, a teapot, and some cups for drinking tea. The design is very intricate and elegant, making it perfect for special occasions.
3. Chinese Gaiwan Teacup: This type of cup is designed to hold a single serving of tea, but can also be used to pour the liquid into other cups or teapots. It’s very popular in China and has become quite trendy in other parts of the world as well.
4. Glass Teacups: Glass teacups offer a unique way to enjoy your favorite brew without worrying about spills or stains on your furniture. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that fits your style perfectly.
There are many varieties of porcelain teaware, with a variety of colors and unique craftsmanship. They have aesthetic, practical, and collectible values. This article briefly introduces their main characteristics.
Blue and white porcelain teaware
The blue porcelain teaware has a solid texture, full glaze, and beautiful shape. Known as “ice type” and “jade type”, it is the oldest variety of porcelain ware in Chinese history.
As early as the Han Dynasty, Shangyu in Zhejiang began to burn blue and white porcelain. During the Tang Dynasty, it was thought that blue and white porcelain of tea sets had the best quality which could show the soup color of tea best. From the Southern Song Dynasty to the Yuan Dynasty, tea sets produced by Longquan Kiln in Zhejiang not only inherited the characteristics of Yue Kiln blue and white porcelain, but also had new development.
Nowadays, many famous museums around the world collect dragon and Qi blue porcelain tea sets, most of which were exported abroad during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
The Yuezhou Green Porcelain Tea Bowl
Song Longquan Kiln carved lotus pattern bowl (in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States)
White porcelain teaware
White porcelain tea sets appeared relatively early, with bowls, cups and other utensils found in the Northern Qi tombs in Anyang, Henan Province. White porcelain tea sets are made of porcelain clay and have a white body that is semi-transparent. After applying colored glaze they become smooth like a mirror and their colors are vibrant. They are praised as “white as jade, bright as a mirror, thin as paper, and soundless”. They are especially suitable for brewing premium green tea and often admired by tea lovers.
In addition to Jingdezhen, which produces white porcelain tea sets, there are also Liling in Hunan, Zibo in Shandong, Tangshan in Hebei, Chaozhou in Guangdong and Qimen in Anhui, each with its own characteristics.
Five Dynasties Jingdezhen White Porcelain Bowls
Egg white glazed porcelain belongs to white porcelain, with glaze color similar to the color of a duck eggshell – “white with slight blueness”. The most famous “Shu Fu Porcelain” was a custom-made egg white porcelain ordered by the Yuan Dynasty imperial court’s Shumishi Institute. Two characters “Shu” and “Fu” were printed in the pattern.
Black Porcelain Tea Sets
Black porcelain teaware originated in the late Tang Dynasty, and flourished during the Song Dynasty. People in the Song Dynasty enjoyed competing by drinking tea, with preference to a “fresh white” color of the tea soup. When white-colored tea soup was poured into black teacups, it was easy to distinguish whose tea soup was the whitest against such a clear contrast of black and white.
The black porcelain tea cups produced in Fujian in history were unique in their formula, and during the process of firing, hare fur stripes, partridge spots or oil drop spots would appear on the glaze, and when the tea was poured into the cup it would emit a colorful light that made drinking tea more interesting. Even nowadays there are still people who use black porcelain teaware to brew tea, especially those with kiln change black porcelain tea cups (bowls), which are often selected by teahouses.
The Kiln Rabbit Penholder
The Southern Song Dynasty built the oil dripping pot, with a transaction price of RMB 78.727 million in Hong Kong’s Sotheby’s auction in 2015.
Colorful Porcelain Tea Set
There are many kinds of colored porcelain tea sets, the most common one of which is blue and white porcelain tea set and it is the mainstream of colored porcelain tea set. Blue and white porcelain tea set uses cobalt oxide as a coloring agent, depicting patterns directly on the porcelain body, then coating a layer of transparent glaze, and finally firing at about 1300℃ in kiln for reduction. It has bright colors and various patterns with strong three-dimensional sense. The main production area is Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province.
Ming Yongle Blue and White Floral Pattern Hand Vase (Collection of the Taipei Palace Museum)
Ming Yongle Blue-and-White Lotus Petal Patterned Bowl (in the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei)
The picture shows a tea ceremony in Japan. The text reads:
A Japanese Tea Ceremony is an elaborate ritual for the preparation, serving and drinking of green tea. It is also known as “the way of tea” which dates back to the 15th century. During the ceremony, guests are served a bowl of green tea by a host in formal dress and with specific etiquette. Guests are expected to appreciate the host’s hospitality and savor the taste of the tea while admiring the ritual’s tranquil atmosphere and graceful beauty.