- Tea Knowledge
Decorated in hand-painted blue designs upon white Chaozhou porcelain, this cup shows a charming combination of geometric and floral motifs with a small inscription in Chinese characters. The sharp hyperbola of its profile stands out among other pin ming cups, the large inverted cone rising above the table on its small pedestal, embellished with a square spiral motif. Just above, lotus petals ring around, as if the cup and its precious liquid were balanced in a delicate flower, serving tea with diligence and beauty.
Why is the cup so small?
This cup is designed for the traditional Chinese tea preparation (gong fu cha). The tea is steeped for a short time in a small teapot and served in the tiny cups (cha bei).
The same leaves are infused multiple times, and the flavour changes with each infusion. This procedure maximises the aroma of the tea, revealing the subtle nuances.