- Tea Knowledge
A piece of living history, the craft of producing these tea bowls, known as Jianzhan, has remained fundamentally unchanged in the centuries since its development. First produced during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) in Fijian, the black Jian ware become famed for its somber colour, lustrous sheen, and most of all for the fantastic patterns these produced in conjunction. Its clay is heavy with iron oxide, limestone, and feldspar, and adds a solemn weight in the hand. Thanks to its dense earthen composite, the cups will retain heat well and keep tea toasty, so long as it is pre-warmed with hot water.
It is under the skills of a fine potter that the glaze iridesces in the traditional panoply of patterns. This one resembles the fur of a hare, a distinguished Jianzhan look prized by collectors. For another Jianzhan style, find our oil-drop cup.