Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Teaware.House: Dragon and Phoenix Huoci Shiboridashi, A Teaware Review

I am so glad I had this written in advance, because I can barely type at the moment. Yesterday there was no blog because headache, and the headache is better but still really annoying...no the problem today is my piece of garbage electronics. Both my computer and my phone have decided to simultaneously act like fails. It has taken me half an hour to just write this paragraph. NECROMANCER RAGE!!! Tomorrow I will be back with tea, or an announcement that my computer has been smashed into a million pieces. Sigh, I so wanted this to be for teaware Wednesday.

It was love at first sight when I spied this shiboridashi on the Teaware.house website, seriously, with a motif of the dragon and phoenix (a common motif used in wedding art, along with the double happiness) and flowers made for a beautiful piece of teaware that borders on the gaudy. And I love things that are gaudy and audacious. I love the color, that shade of green is retro, seriously I had a road-side arm chair from the 60s that had that same color, it is classic. Though in person it is a bit more of a lime green than an asparagus green, very subtle but these things matter.

One this that I really like about this piece is the inside of the shiboridashi, a lot of my favorite pieces have designs on the interior as well as exterior, and this one is no exception. A peony in full bloom is embossed on the interior giving a bit of texture as well as a ghostly appearance, plus it matches the peony lid knob.

At 85ml, it is on the small side, which I like, perfect for a tea that requires a ton of steeps and you are the only one drinking. Using this shibo took a bit of getting used to, the pour is great for larger leaf Chinese teas, I found that the grooves and space between spout and lid did not work for Japanese teas as I was hoping, but it works perfectly fine for other teas. The one little finicky bit I found is that the lid does not fit perfectly flush, when I go to pour I have to wobble around to make sure it is lined up perfectly or it makes a mess. Using it enough times I can eyeball it by matching up the pattern to the spout, but at first it was a bit frustrating.

Now the real important part that sent me on a night of research, what exactly is Huoci? 活瓷 It means 'Living Porcelain' and is a modern style of porcelain created in 1986, fusing art and science for what seems like one of the silliest gimmicky things I have heard in a while. Combining over 20 minerals with high heat, this porcelain is supposed to remove  bitterness, release healthy ions, dechlorinate water, increase skin beauty, and boil water faster....suuuuure it does. I can see why this is not listed on the website and required me to search elsewhere, that seems far-fetched at best. Apparently this glaze has tourmaline in it as one of the ingredients and I wonder if that is what causes its lovely green? I did not notice any magical taste changing effects, it is a beautiful piece of teaware that is quite happy in my collection. I especially love using it for darker colored teas to contrast the bright green.

This teaware was purchased by me.

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