Tea ceramics @ Siam Tea Shop
For a while, developing a new tea-ceramic line proved to be one of the biggest challenges since the establishment of Siam Tea Shop. Originally, I had managed to source ancient, hand-made teapots and other tea accessories from China. My source was a market in Doi Mae Salong, North Thailand, where these old quality handcrafts were available at a more than reasonable price. At that time, there was still a “green” border between North Thailand and China.
Today, there is no more such green border, and that market has lost much of its attractiveness since. However, after investigations towards the actual source had led to the conclusion that such goods were no longer produced or available, I was up the creek without a paddle. What would I offer at Siam Tee Shop that would meet my quality and individuality requirements? Cheap industrial products that would sell through nice visual appearance? For god’s sake, no… Alternatively, however, importing high-quality tea pottery across the distance from China would be rather difficult.
Later, we added a comparatively easy-to-source line of Japanese tea pottery: Kyusu teapots, yuzamashi, Japanese tea cups and, of course, matcha bowls. Still, the future of Siam Tea Shop’s Chinese tea pottery line remained uncertain.
The SiamTeas Signature Tea Pottery Line
Until one day, when I stumbled upon the website of a Belgian pottery master, specialized in Chinese and Japanese tea pottery. What I saw there, especially the artist’s unglazed works, fascinated me right away. And inspired me to the idea of a “Signature” tea ceramics line at Siam Tea Shop.
This way, I would not only be able to match the targeted quality, but also achieve a particularly high degree of individuality. And I could ensure that no industrial processes would be part of the production of my tea ceramics. Plus, everything would be 100% handmade. What a great idea … And here was the opportunity to make it happen.
Such motivated, I contacted the artist and talked to her about my idea. At this, the individual elements of the line were to be based on existing works of the artist, but according to my own specifications. The rest is history … And today, you can find the results here at Siam Tea Shop.
SiamTeas Signature Yixing teapot 200ml, unglazed, fine red clay
The teapot is one of the most elementary, if not the most elementary tea making equipment. This is why it is also a core element of our signature tea ceramic line in the Siam Tea Shop.
The basic design of the SiamTeas Signature Yixing teapot is based on the Yixing style, which we regard as ambiguous to the classic Chinese teapot. Therefore, we also decided in favor of the equally classic 200ml size. The teapot is made of a fine red clay, particularly rich in iron, which gives it some particularly desirable properties, including high breaking strength.
Also in functional terms, the unglazed SiamTeas Signature Yixing teapot leaves nothing to wish for. So, the teapot is 100% drip-free. And you can be easily handle, lift and move it through the ergonomically shaped handle, even in hot condition. And in order to ensure perfect functionality, the integrated ball-shaped strainer is also modeled on the basis of the classic Yixing teapot. Accordingly, just like the original, our Signature Yixing teapot is best suited for preparing black tea, oolong tea, white tea or Pu erh tea. However, you can also prepare green teas in it quite well.
In this case, the pottery artist’s original design already matched our ideas quite well. However, this had a comparatively small lid opening, causing difficulties with the removal of – especially large – tea leaves. Accordingly, we increased the lid opening of our Signature Yixing teapot in our specifications significantly. So, it is much easier to clean. And finally, the looks of it turned out to be even more attractive. However, aesthetics are a question of taste. And this applies to our unglazed tea pottery to an even higher degree than usual.
But why is it unglazed?
Well, why unglazed …. First of all, it was the artist’s raw, non-glazed works, which had originally inspired me. Then, contemplating about the matter, I remembered why. On the one hand, because the natural clay greatly emphasizes the connection between the soil and the tea leaves. And thereby that between the soil and the tea. Then, because the desirable properties of clay with tea preparation will show best this way. And thirdly, I found the unglazed vessels simply incredibly beautiful and best reflecting the simple character of the tea.
Any doubts? Just give it a try … And you won’t want to use any other tea vessels anymore!
Please note ! Since each of our SiamTeas Signature Shiboridashi is individually hand-crafted, virtually every specimen is unique. Therefore, minor deviations in shape and capacity may occur between individual specimens.
Other elements of our SiamTeas Signature Tea Ceramics Line
Beyond the yixing teapot, our SiamTeas Signature Tea Ceramics line includes the following elements in orientation at the core requirements for the casual or ritual tea preparation:
- Shiboridashi 100ml, unglazed, fine yellow clay,
- Yixing Teapot 200ml, unglazed, coarse red clay,
- Yuzamashi 250ml, unglazed, coarse red clay,
- Yuzamashi 250ml, unglazed, fine yellow clay,
- Porcelain Tea Cup 50ml, glazed
Moreover, teapot, shibo and yuzamashi are also available as an ensemble, of course coming with a price advantage: