Set of Handmade Jianzhan Tea Cups



Jian ware (also known as Jian Zhan or Tian Mu Porcelain) is Chinese black porcelain originating from Jianyang, Fujian province.

In the Song Dynasty's "The Record of Tea" it was said about Jian Zhan:

"Tea is of light color and looks best in black cups. The cups made at Jianyang are bluish-black in color, marked like the fur of a hare. Being of rather thick fabric they retain the heat, so that when once warmed through they cool very slowly, and they are additionally valued on this account. None of the cups produced at other places can rival these. Blue and white cups are not used by those who give tea-tasting parties." 

The Jian Zhan Tea Cup is the pinnacle of black porcelain. It saw its rise during the Song Dynasty. This pottery style was studied in depth by Japanese potters for use during Japanese tea ceremonies, known as chanoyu. The style is referred to as Tenmoku in Japan. 

The most regarded style of Jian teaware is known as Yohen Tenmoku. Sometimes referred to as "oil drops" in English. There are only three original Yohen Tenmoku tea bowls in existence, and it has been the most difficult style to replicate by modern-day potters. We are excited to have met a potter who was able to perfect this ancient style of pottery. 

While this style slowly gave way to Yixing ware in China, it continued flourishing in Japan, where it became a national treasure.

Nowadays, there are but a few artists who are trying to revive the original Jian tea cup making in China. 

One such pottery artist is Chan Hoi Kong (Brian). Kong was born in Hong Kong. From a young age, under the influence of his grandfather, he has been into a wide range of Chinese pottery and art. Kong stayed in the famous Wuyi Mountains for 9 months studying the unique iron-rich clay exclusive to the area.

Kong spent his time acquiring techniques from many old craftsmen. Finally, hundreds of experiments later, he developed his three signature patterns using the un-altered traditional minerals and forming contemporary-looking Jian tea wares.


Chan Hoi Kong (Brian)
Chan Hoi Kong (Brian)
The clay used for Jian pottery is very high in iron and requires a very high temperature for firing. Kilns used for firing this style of teaware are not easy to make and thus are incredibly precious.

Building an appropriate kiln is only a part of the struggles that Jian Zhan potters face. Only with the right kiln can the glaze run so beautifully, creating the iconic patterns of this pottery style and thickening at the bottom of the tea cup's foot.


Wood fired kiln

Wood-fired kiln

A Jianzhan teacup is known for its sturdiness and weight, yet a simple shape, which pleasantly sits in the hands. The subtle effects in the glazes distinguish the style. These effects can only be achieved using special kilns, with a high-iron glaze and high firing temperatures. The patterns are characterized as follows: oil drop, partridge feathers, and rabbit hair.

 When drinking tea from a Jianzhan teacup, the brew's temperature will stay pleasantly warm for a long time, yet without burning you. While you sip the tea, watch the colors of the glaze gently play and intermingle with the tea. The dark yet vibrant colors of the iron-rich glaze will unite, forming beautiful blues, gold, and other magical colors. 

Furthermore, the qualities of the teacup soften the water, making it more alkaline, smooth, and flowing. When comparing the water side by side with a regular porcelain teacup, the difference doesn't go unnoticed. The precious aroma of the tea becomes more evident. 

What's in the set: 3 assorted handmade Jianzhan Tea Cups, including Yohen Tenmoku cup

Material: Porcelain

Capacity: range from 40 to 50ml


NOTE: Each teacup is handmade. It makes each teacup truly unique and one of a kind.

NOTE: Avoid using detergents when cleaning.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    Paul Kaye
    Pure Pleasure!

    There is so much to enjoy in these cups. Each one of them is a work of art. They amplify the pleasure of drinking tea, and the serving of it to others. The cups are so interesting and dimensional that they become a talking point. Highest recommendation.

    hannah landes
    Amazing tea cups

    Gorgeous, thick, pleasurable lip feel, heavy, and great size. I had been drinking out of much smaller and thinner cups and now these are the only ones I use because I can actually hold a perfect amount of tea. Really works of art that are worth the price.

    Art in a cup

    I love these cups. They are beautiful and an amazing conversation piece and true works of art. I love that they are heavier than they look, which gives them such a lovely feel. They hold heat well and are gorgeous when brewing tea outside on a sunny day. I could sit and look at them for a long time.

    Indrayani Shaayí Ananda
    Beautifully Cosmic, Sturdy, and Insulated Jianzhan Cups 🍃🍃🌱🌿🍵

    These cups are very lovely. They are perfect in fact for their purposes. They are definitely works of art. The texture, colors, and designs are flawless and have great depth. The visuals of the cup are reminiscent of the cosmos and alternate universes, perhaps reminding us of past lives and other worldly experiences that are often forgotten. I really appreciate the heaviness, sturdiness, and feeling of the cups in the hands. They keep the heat of the water well which is a nice effect, especially when you place the teacup over your eyes and forehead after drinking your tea for tension release. The warmth is also nice for drinking tea at a warmer temperature. The texture is very smooth as well which inspires a relaxed and calm mood in tea ceremony. I am particular fond of the size of these cups as smaller Jianzhan cups are very less common. So grateful for these cups.

    Also, the care put into packaging the cups was vey lovely.

    With Metta in Dharma and the Way of Tea... 🙏🏽🌱🍵

    Dan Neet
    My tea tastes really different! Amazing and beautiful tea cups!

    These cups are absolutely amazing!! If not for the exceptional mastery of the artists alone, they are defiantly worth getting because of the tea-enhancing qualities! I was really looking forward to trying tea side-by-side in one of these cups and a regular ceramic gong fu cup. The difference was clearly noticeable!! All strong notes disappeared from the tea I was drinking (a black tea). Making it very very soft and smooth. I don't think these cups are good for all teas, but worth experimenting to see which tea they enhance. Definitely recommend!