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Tea Sets Before Tang Dynasty - Resources and Developments of Tea Set according to Historical Data

There is no definite records in historical data when tea came out, how the Chinese knew about the tea, started to breed and use it, But this ancient cash crop spent a long time to become our favourite drink, there were different legends& historical datas described the tea course of events from herb to edible, then to drinkable.

According to the first of our ancient medical books in Warring States Period named "Shen Nong's Herbal", which was contributed the divine farming-Shen Nong tasted 100 grass for curing people, tea was one of them. Nature will call people's attention since tea has the treating efficiency. To Zhou Dynasty (BC1100-BC256), they began to set the regulatory tea officials, and also accepting the tea and the promotion as sacrifice supplies.

Yang Xiong "Shu Du Fu" (Old name for Sichuan Province) in Western Han Dynasty already had the compliment sentences: all flowers come out for springs they take light aroma. Famous and precious tea will be bluish yellow and a little purple.

There was a specific vivid story,in the late of Western Han Dynasty, a confucian scholar named Wang Bao leaved Sichuan Province to Chengdu for an examination,and lived in his ftiend's home on his way, but he liked drinking, so he often ordered the servant buying wine for himslef The servant was very said about this, began to complain and cuss. Wang Bao got angry with this servant and asked his friend to sell him. His friend sold this servant to Wang Bao, and they designed a provision, to make sure the servant should be always get ready of the tea, teapot and tea-making facilities and so on, also, bought tea from Wuyang. This provision was written by BC59, this illustrated tea-market has appeared in Western Han Dynasty, and it has formed the stratum tea fashion of Confucian. To the Eastern Han Dynasty, a famous doctor Hua Tuo wrote in his "Food Theory":Bitter tea will cure mind if often drink.

Three Kingdoms Period, the teaware got a step developed. Recording as Guangyar: "Sichuan and Hubei made tea as a pan, fire it to make the color changed, smash and put it into chinaware, soup on it, drink for sober up and wakefulness," Aforementioned showing the developments and changes of tea at different stages, so that the tea has powerful tendency for occupying an important position between the politicians and in common people's daily life.Can the tea has reflected not only then was a simple physical act, but also based on the material and technical conditions, some ideas concluding in the culture consciousness.

Tea originated from the south of China at least, tea has been common in the Yangtze river region gradually, and went across to the north China, for all social levels accepted With the changes and developments of tea, drinking vessels also adapted to the way of making tea and separated from the diet instruments slowly.

If we want to see the ancient how to make those diet instruments till to drinking vessels came out, we have to back to these historical datas.

Wang Bao's Provision" had the records of boiling tea with all drinking vessels", this is the earlist record which mentioned about the tea vessels we can find. As for shapes and categories were, we can search from the (drinking vessels of Han Dynasty.There are so many catogaries of the drinking vessels in Han Dynasty. NO.1 unearthed artifacts of Han Dynasty excavated in Ma Wang Dui in changsha can reflected and demonstrated the owner's luxurious life. Used kinds of vessels can be sure and show to us, such as boiled pork in wok, hold meat in Ting (vessel), the rice spoon was called "xi", the pan salver can used for holding the vessels without feet or with low joist, we called "censer table".

(1) Colored moire pattern censer table & cups. Western Han Dynasty.

Length 60.2cm, width 40cm, Height 5cm, collected by Hunan Museum. This censer table was excavated NO. 1 unearthed artifacts in Ma Wang Dui in Changsha of Han Dynasty, cups, plates, stem cups and chop sticks which made by bamboo were put on it These were painted by exquisite cloud pattern, and all of these were lacquers. Cups were different size, the little is 11cm, the medium size is 14cm, If height was up to 15cm we call those "big-ear cups", They all used for drinking in Han Dynasty.

(2) Coloured cloud pattern lacquer stemcxups. Western Han Dynasty.

Height 16cm, Caliber 15.2cm,collected by Hunan Museum.

Stem cups were used for drinking, and also for making wines mostly, the materials such as argil, copper, tin, etc were seemed like what we use today. This coloured cloud pattern lacquer stemcups excavated in NO.1 uncarthed artifacts of Han Dynasty in MaWangDui in Changsha also.

There was a person who held a stemeup on printed brick of Han Dynasty. We can see the propotion between the person and the stemeup, the latter wasn't big, its caliber is about 10cm. The stumcups seemed like the modern cylindrical cup, which excavated in NO.4 at Yinque Hill of Linyi in Shandong province. It was 12.2cm tall, its bottom diameter is 1 l.8 cm, and can stand for the earlist shape.
The contracture on the bottom of some stemcups were as same as modcam cup.

The record of later book named" Annals of the Three Kingdoms" gave us an example.
Sun Hao, the later king of Wu, drunk the tea like wine, and also used the wine-cup as stemeup, so we can summarize the tea could take places of wine as an aptotic beverage.

Western Jin Dynasty, recorded on the "Naturalis Historia" of Zhang Hua, "drmk tea to make you sleepless".

The first time of our ancient talked about pottery teacup was in "Chuan Ode" which witten by Du Yu, it raised the instruments of billy tea and the time of tea plucking exactly. Above all, it showed us our ancient had got deep acknowledges on tea and considered drinking tea was a relish for life. They could get the gustatory and visual enjoyments except its medical value. Drinking tea became popular.

There were not so much data about the way of drinking tea before Tang Dynasty. "Guangya" written by Zhang Yi who lived in Three Kingdom Period, recorded the way of drinking tea at that time, processed the picked tea to make the color change into red, scrunched them, put balm into the stuff, shaped all of these to a rotundity called as tea cake, kept in pottery. When you wanted to drink. put the ready tea into pot after water was hot, put scallion, ginger, and some fruit into it, enjoyed it after it had been done.

We call the new method of drinking tea as" release tea".

The Northern and Southern Dynasties are the forming period of drinking fashion. The officials considered drinking tea as their frugal manners. With more and more people changed their firm belief to Buddhist, they found peace in Zen, so tea, necessary and popularity to monks and Taoist.

Accompany with going deep into the acknowledges and the promotion of tea activities, tea became an isolated new catogary in different kiln areas gradually.

(3) Celadon bowl in the Three Kingdoms Period. Hongzhou ware.

Caliber 9.2cm, collected by Museum of Fengcheng city.

Wide-mouth, lip-rounding, curved wall, fulling of celadon glaze inside, glazed outside to above the bottom, show the unclean and crude deep brown litter.

(4) Celadon stipple decoration bowl in Eastern Jin Dynasty. Ou kiln.

Height 5.5cm, caliber10cm,, bottom diameter 5.5cm, collected by Wenzhou Museum.

Converged-mouth, lip-rounding, curved wall, deep belly, flat bottom. Fulling of celadon glaze totally, clean and sleek, transparent fine grinding tortoiseshell. Paste is offwhite and delicatamente. The shape is seemed like the alms bowl today. Four plum flowers around the bowl to make it much more quietly elegant.

(5) Celadon bowl in Eastern Jin Dynasty. Yueh kiln. Height 5.9cm, caliberl4cm, bottom diameter 9.5cm, collected by Cultural Management of Xinchang City.

Orthostomous, lip-rounding, deep belly, low bottom. Fulling of thick celadon glaze totally, tiny cyan. Two deep roulette decoration under the Mouth rim. Paste is offwhite on the bottom.

(6) Celadon bowl in Southern Dynasties. Ou kiln. Height 6cm, caliber11.5cm, bottom diameter 3.2cm, collected by Museum of Rui'an city.

Wide-mouth, lip-rounding, deep belly,straight wall, cancave inside, cancave line around the bottom. Fulling of bluish yellow glaze both side, well-proportioned and tiny cyan on it, feet showed the offwhite paste, hard and delicatamente.

(7) Celadon bowl stand in Southern Dynasties. Ou kiln.

Height 7.4cm, bowl cahberll.5cm, tray caliber 14.5cm, bottom diameter 7.3cm, collected by Museum of Rui'an city.

Orthostomous bowl, deep belly, iow feet. Tray and bowl were cementatory, tray was lip-rounding. The offwhite paste was hard and delicatamente. Fulling of glaucous glaze both side, clean and sleek, transparent fine grinding crackled. There were four vestiges fired with the stand on the bottom.

(8) Celadon bowl stand in Southern Dynasties. Ou kiln. Height 11.5cm, caliber 7.7cm, bottom diameter 6.6cm, collected by Museum of Jiangxi Province.

Bowl and tray were wide-mouth, low belly, ring foot connected with the central holder of tray, glaze with incised lotused lotus designs. They were transparent and fine grinding ice crackled decoration.

(9) Celadon lotused pattern bowl in Southern Dynasties. Hongzhou kiln.

Caliber 10.9 cm, collected by Museum of Fengcheng city.

Orthostomous, lip-rounding, curved wall. Fulling of glaucous yellow glaze both side, the feet paste was steel grey, it's a bit rough lotused score outside, maybe come of the paste was dry or crude.

(10) Celadon lotused pattern bowl in Southern Dynasties. Hongzhou kiln. Caliber 15 cm, collected by Museum of Jiangxi Province.

This came from the burial undergrounds of Southern Dynasties, AD493. Bowl is orthostomous, lip-rounding, cancave inside, a deep roulette decoration under the mouth rim. Tray and bowl were cementatory, tray was lip- rounding, lotused scored inside, glaucous yellow glaze and grinding ice crackled decoration.

(11) Stipple (Diancai) lotused pattern bowl in Southern Dynasties. Hongzhou kiln. Height 5.5cm, caliber 11.55cm, collected by Museum of Zhejiang province.

Wide-mouth, convergent belly, thin bottom. Celadon yellow glaze with brown colour totally, and lotused score inside, uneven thickness of the paste and grinding ice crackled decoration.

(12) Celadon lotused pattern bowl in Southern Dynasties, Ou kiln. Height 5.5cm, caliber11.5cm, collected by Beijing Museum.

Wide-mouth, low belly, pie feet. Convex lotused score and a clear phase in the center of tray, paste was white and yellow. And the tiny crackled decoration below the green tea glaze.

(13) Wide-mouth Celadon glaze cup in Sui Dynasty. Hongzhou kiln. Caliber 9.8cm, collected by Museum of Fengcheng city.

Wide-mouth, lip-rounding, deep belly, cancave inside, fulling of glaze inside, it's a bit rough glaze with the tiny crackled decoration.

The product of Hongzhou kiln in this period had lots of different catogaries, such as orthostomous, lip-rounding, pie feet, a deep roulette decoration under the Mouth rim, plat belly, convergent cups, lip-rounding, curved wall to the bottom.

Above teawares were the basic shapes of tea vessels which started from Three kingdoms Period to Sui Dynasty, and the customs of different estates began to form. Biography of Wei Yao which in the book of Annels of Three Kingdoms recorded that he drunk tea in the palace of the Wu country, illustrated the royal court had already got tea for officials. Also, it instructed the tea vogue of officials in Nothern Dynasty as well as the monk in the Southern Dynasties. Historic data mentioned Liu Ziiuan, Liu Zishang(the prince of the king of Southern Dynasties) visited Taoist Tan Ji who lived on the hill,Tan ji took out tea to entertain them, Liu Zishang called it as "nectar".

The tea-drinking habits of civilization were mentioned in many datas,,The Classic of Tea ("Tea Sutra") written by Lu Yu recorded a story : Emperor Yuan in Jin Dynasty, there was a old woman had been captured because she sold tea for relieve the poverty situation. This story showed us there were tea-markets in Jin Dynasty, and tea affairs became popular in civilizations.