A set of tea wares
Chinese people love drinking tea. A pot of good tea is made by tea wares of good quality. Therefore, to better understand Chinese tea culture, one must have some knowledge abouy tea wares.
Tea wares consist of mainly teapots, cups, tea bowls and trays, etc. Tea wares have been used for a long time in China. The unglazed earthen wares, used in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces for roasting tea today, remind us the earliest utensils used in ancient China.
In the Tang Dynastyn, tea wares made of metals were served for nobles and porcelain and earthen wares were commonly used for civilians.
In the Song Dynasty, tea bowls were glazed in black, dark-brown, grey, grey/white and white colors. Grey/white porcelain tea wares predominated in the Yuan Dynasty and white glazed tea wares became popular in the Ming Dynasty. Teapots made of porcelains and earth clay was very much in vogue during the middle of Ming Dynasty.
Among various kinds of tea wares, porcelain wares made in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province ranked first and brown earthen wares made in Yixing, Jiangsu Province occupied the top place.
Many kinds of tea wares developed in line with the popularity of tea drinking. Wares made of earthen clay, porcelains, copper, tin, jade, lacquer, glass and ceramic etc. makes a rich and colorful varieties of tea wares in the history of tea-drinking in China.
Porcelain tea-wares of Jingdezhen were common in the early Tang Dynasty. In the Song Dynasty white/grey glazed kind produced in Jingdezhen predominated the market. Jingdezhen, as a porcelain capital, made its name known to the world by its grey glazed porcelains with flower patterns since the Yuan Dynasty. Tea-wares of this kind were not only highly valued in the domestic market, but also well received by foreign countries.
Based on grey porcelain of the Ming Dynasty, the multi-colored porcelains appeared. The products were known of their fine and thin wall and exquisite forms as well as their colorful and vivid drawings. They were also highly valued at home and abroad.
Production of white glazed porcelain tea-wares was thriving in Jingdezhen in the Qing Dynasty. Two new products-enamel and translucent colors to be decorated on the glaze of porcelains were innovated and the multi-colored enamel porcelain tea-wares had reached to their perfection for their thin body wall, crystal pure white and classic styles. They were used only in the royal palaces and could hardly be found in the houses of common people at that time.
Tea, either black or green, infused by those rich varieties of tea-wares made in Jingdezhen, not only provides warmth and taste, but also gives tranquility and esthetic satisfaction because of their textures and colors.