on Sunday, December 7, 2014 1:00:00 AM
We are very excited to now be carrying a very limited
quantity of unglazed porcelain teaware at our retail store in Kansas City. In
our opinion, unglazed porcelain is unmatched in both aesthetic beauty and
ability to produce the best tasting tea.
Production of unglazed tea ware begins with sourcing only
the very purest and highest grade clay (Kaolin). We use only premium clays
found in the mountain mines that feel moist and smooth to the touch similar to
candle wax. Lower quality clays will produce a final product that has a texture
of sandpaper. After selecting the best clay, the clay is worked to a desirable
consistency and then placed in a mold for 4-7 days. Then the tea ware is removed
from the mold and smoothed out using a brush and water before being fired at
2200 to 2500 F.
Unglazed porcelain tea ware is perhaps the most difficult
and expensive type of tea ware to produce. As mentioned above it first requires
that one sources the highest quality clay. In addition, the failure rate when
producing unglazed tea ware is anywhere from 30-50%. Sometimes the clay does
not set properly in the mold and must be thrown out. Other times the pots are
chipped during the shaping and smoothing process and must be thrown out. Occasionally
the pots are melted in the kiln and come out looking like a candle rather than
a teapot or come out with a very rough surface that makes the tea pot unusable.
So is all the effort worth the trouble? In our opinion, no
other material makes a more flavorful and smooth cup of tea! The great thing
about these pots is that the clay is top of the line and since it is unglazed,
it is porous. This means that typically you will use one category or one type
of tea with an unglazed porcelain tea pot, and it will absorb the flavors of the
tea over time leading to a smoother, cleaner brew every time that you use the
pot. In addition, unlike other unglazed pots such as yixing, unglazed porcelain
can be used with any category or type of tea including white tea!
Using an unglazed porcelain teapot is very simple. First
pick one type of tea or one category of tea that you would like to use. Since
the tea pot will absorb flavors, you don’t want to switch between different
categories of teas as this will impact the flavor profile. Next, rinse your new
tea pot once or twice with boiling water to remove any porcelain dust. Then you
can begin using your new tea pot just as you would any other tea pot. The only
difference is that to clean the tea pot you will just want to rinse with hot
water. Do not use soap as this will be absorbed by the porcelain and affect the
flavor of your tea.
Currently due to limited quantities, we only have a few of
these extraordinary teapots available in our retail store. If you would like to
purchase one but you do not live in the Kansas City area, please give us a call
at our store (816-421-2588), and we will be happy to talk to you about what we
have in stock, shipping options, and cost. We are working on getting more
produced and will hopefully have a larger stock in early 2015.