Sunday, July 4, 2021

Small Jingdezhen Porcelain Tea Sets


I had assumed that these Chinese porcelain tea sets were more for decoration or display and not for brewing tea.  I was wrong when I saw these small sets in action during my tea adventures abroad.

These tea sets you see from the pictures are made in the late 80s in Jingdezhen province in China. Jingdezhen porcelain is much appreciated by porcelain collectors round the world and today, this area continues to make high grade porcelain products. 

These tea sets are small.  They comprise of a tea tray, a teapot and 4 cups.  The size of the tea pot is about 80ml with 20ml sized cups.  I have collected quite a bit of these sets and I was fortunate that most of these sets were in their unopened, unused factory cardboard boxes.  I have the red 'Wan Shou Wu Jiang' (aka longevity), rice porcelain, black 'million flower' as well as a gold phoenix and dragon set.  Many of these sets were primarily made for export and in my opinion, it is more difficult now to find them in pristine condition.  I kept them as these sets marked a moment in time for Chinese tea history.  Maybe I was hopelessly dreaming I could be a zillionaire when I sell them in my sunset years.  

Brewing tea in these small sets requires me to be more deliberate in a tea session.  I find myself slowing down to prevent spills or even accidents.  Drinking tea from small teacups is a 'refreshing' style. I could get 2 small sips or a small mouthful of tea per cup.  It takes a meticulous effort to appreciate the aroma and taste from each cup.  If you had observed me having a tea session, it will appear I was like a kid playing with a tea set but I do enjoy the slow deliberate style in brewing and drinking tea from such tea sets.  It is for me, a few quiet minutes of bliss.   

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