Chinese tea sets are categorized based on their materiality, functionality and shade. Generally, seven common tea sets are popular in both China and the rest of the world. They consist of varying collections made with different types of materials.
1. THE POTTERY TEA SETS
This is the most popular category of tea sets among Chinese residents. The vessels are made exclusively from the clay soil that is naturally occurring in the southern part of Jiangsu Province. Also known as Yixing tea sets, these vessels are the most efficient when it comes to tea brewing. They offer ideal performance when it comes to absorbing and maintaining the fragrance of a specific tea. The Purple Clay sets are the most favoured when it comes to pottery tea sets.
2. GLASS TEA SETS
For adept brewers, glass tea sets are the best option ever. They feature several advantages when it comes to blooming, steepening and reheating your drink. One of the outstanding glass tea sets’ quality is its transparency. With glass, you can see and regulate the process of brewing without shedding much sweat. Otherwise, glasses are relatively inexpensive, easy to wash, easy to shape and have good value for money under proper care and maintenance.
3. METALLIC TEA SETS
Metallic tea sets are not only durable but also offer cutting-edge performance when it comes to brewing and storage of the tea. Most of the Chinese metallic tea sets are made with cast iron or stainless steel. They feature different sizes, shapes and beautiful designs.
However, metallic tea sets come with a wide range of downsides. One, they are better conductors of heat and poor insulators. Therefore, they are not the appropriate option for tea storage. Secondly, they release toxic metallic parts during the brewing process. The Fe2+ irons lead to cancerous cells when absorbed into the body.
4. BAMBOO TEA SETS
The bamboo tea ware was popular during the Qin dynasty. Contemporarily, they are still being used in various parts of China. These tea sets are not only expensive. They also have stupendous aesthetic appearance and designs. Since these wooden vessels are made exclusively with wooden bamboos, they are environmentally friendly, healthy and practical. Wooden bamboo tea sets are the best options when looking for better storage vessels while at the same time cutting the cash corners. They have only one downside—catching flames when placed on a stovetop.
5. ENAMEL TEA SETS
Premium enamel is one of the best materials when it comes to designing tea sets. It combines different contemporary, traditional and vintage designs to come up with a perfect gift. Chinese are not left behind in this evolution. High-grade Chinese enamel tea sets are fine-sanded, ergonomically shaped with comfortable handles and peak level of durability.
Unlike the pottery tea sets, these vessels are hard to stain, scratch and chemical resistant and features smooth surfaces that are easy to wash. They were first introduced in China during the Yuan Dynasty.
6. PORCELAIN TEA SETS
Apart from pottery tea sets, China is also known for unrivalled production of porcelain wares. Porcelain has a long strand of the historical record in China. They are categorized based on the place of origin. Generally, Chinese porcelain tea sets come in five types; celadon, white, black, painted porcelain and rice-patterned sets. The integration of arts in their design is the main reason why porcelain wares rival the pottery sets closely.
7. LACQUER TEA SETS
The last in the list is the lacquer tea sets. In China, lacquers were commonly used as finishers in different kitchen wares. However, as time passed by, the integration of technology made this product key material in designing the tea sets. Just like the glass tea sets, lacquers are resistant to high temperatures, acid and water corrosion. Different Chinese wares come with artistic, hand-painted designs that define the Chinese tea culture.