Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Translucent white porcelain in dark, light comes thru inside of cup.
I bought a bunch of porcelain tea wares from Guangzhou tea expo last year. I thought they were shipped but lost in the mail early this year. Heart broken that I was for a long time. When I discover they are still alive and wholesome, thrilled that I was. Taking them with me in my 2 large (over weight) luggage was hard work that I was willing to take on. They arrived after a year sleeping in China!!!

These are made by Ming Tao Fang studio, all hand painted on Jing De Zhen white porcelain. Qing Hua Ci(blue and white porcelain) has been a favorite nationally and internationally for a few centuries. In recent years, revival of Qing Hua gather a large number of porcelain makers reinventing tea wares in the artistic level.

Out of numerous hand burning experience, I become rather picky in selecting gaiwan by shape rather than pure appearance. Here are a few absolute essentials as a good and functional gaiwan (mainly to avoid burning):
1, cup opening must be flare out with a wide rim
2, lid handle must be tall and thin
3, footing of gaiwan must be tall as well
Depending on size of individual hands, length diameter of gaiwan can vary, I have small hands, so I prefer small gaiwan for gungfu method. For drinking, size does not mater as much, perhaps bigger is better.

I prefer my gaiwan thin, less heat is being absorbed to the cup rather than contributing to the tea. Thicker the cup hotter it feels on your hand, cooler the tea is. The old saying never judge a book by its cover, in the case of selecting a gaiwan, it is half way true. Function and look are both essential, with function comes first in my book.


Unknown said...

Here is one more feature I usually look for. The saucer should be shallow so that it does not stick to the bottom of the gaiwan when wet.

How is the Ming Tao porcelain?

Imen said...

I hardly use the saucer except when I drink out of it at my desk. I haven't notice the sticky problem. Thanks for your suggestion.

One question, I wrote a long article to answer, that's a good question. :D