Jian Zhan teacups have been prized in China and Japan for hundreds of years. During the Song Dynasty, there was even a time where it was considered better not to drink tea at all rather than drinking it from a cup that is not Jian ware!
Following the Song Dynasty, the great art of making Jian ware pottery faded in China. It wasn't until recently that pottery artists are starting to pick up the long-forgotten art of Jian pottery, re-learning it from Japanese potters. The latter have adapted it into tenmoku pottery.
In our previous post, All About The Jian Zhan Tea Cup, we already discussed the intricate process and the technique required to produce such pottery. Out of an enormous kiln loaded with hundreds, sometimes thousands of teacups, only a few are considering "sellable" by the pottery artist. The rest will get destroyed as not to tarnish the artist's name.
Aside from the glaze's mesmerizing patterns, one of the biggest reasons why Jian Zhan teacups are so popular is their health benefits. We often hear of the health benefits we get from drinking quality loose leaf teas, and much less of the health benefits we get from the teaware.
It is quite essential to pay attention to the material used to make your teaware. Depending on where the clay originated and the clay's mineral content, you will be getting an entirely different taste and experience.
In Jian ware, the high iron content of the clay makes the teacups so desirable by tea enthusiasts around the world. The mineral content helps to alkaline the water, making it not only better for our health, but also improving the overall taste of the tea.
Jian Zhan tea cups' iron content helps make the tea brew smooth, soft, and more sweet and aromatic.
With every type of teaware, there is a proper way to take care of it, to ensure it serves us well and for years to come. One good example is yixing teaware and the fact that we shouldn't wash it after use, but rather rinse it gently, allowing it to develop deep flavor from previous brews.
How To Take Care of Jian Zhan Tea Cups
Properly taking care of Jian teacups improves the glaze's lustrous glow, making it brighter and more colorful.
- When using Jian Zhan teacups for the first time, rinse them a few times using boiling water. Never use dish detergent to wash your Jian ware (or any other teaware).
- Since Jian pottery is fired at very high temperatures, the glaze is not porous and doesn't readily absorb flavors and odors like Yixing pottery. You can freely use your teacups with any tea type.
- Don't leave tea in the cup for over 8 hours. While tea will generally help the glaze become more luminous, having it sitting in the cup for extended periods will create a dirty layer that may be hard to remove.
As you see, taking care of Jian teacups is quite simple! As long as you follow these necessary steps, your teacups' glaze will start transforming over time, gradually becoming more radiant. From time to time, you can enjoy tea ceremonies with your Jian ware outside, in the sun. The shining sun rays will aluminate the beauty of the cup even more. It will be impossible to look away from the beautiful teaware!
Have you used Jian tea cups before? Do you notice the difference in taste? How do you take care of your Jian ware?