Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New China Road: Dehua Kiln Loop Handle Teaset With Round Tea Tray, A Teaware Review

Last night I had one of the most whimsical things happen to me. Ben and I had gone to the Co-Op, he wheeling me in my chair (I make for a good backup shopping cart like this) and on the way back two older dudes who were sitting in their van stopped us and started serenading us with some classic soul music, and an impromptu dance number. I had not encountered something so delightfully surreal and random since I lived in Atlanta (where impromptu song and dance numbers are just more of an occurrence there, and one of the things I miss about it) and it made me so happy, they finished their routine by giving Ben and I great big hugs and we went on our way. A block later we ran into a tiny baby snake (not sure if it was a king or garter since it was super dark) that we had to usher off the sidewalk, which also made me very happy. I want more surreal and honestly pretty magical occurrences like that in my life, it reminds me that there is a reason to leave my house!

Today I am taking a look at a teaset, I love teaware reviews and it is always a pleasure to do them! New China Road sent me a really awesome set to look at that comprises of a tea tray, teapot and set of four cups, all in porcelain so unlike my fancy clay stuff I can use it for whatever. Lately I had been thinking I wanted a set with a small tray to use either for going out or when I want to serve tea to more than just myself but don't want to drag my massive tray to wherever the tea will be happening.

 First up, the tray, it arrived a bit broken and (as is their policy) they offered to send me a new one and I declined, because with a bit of epoxy it is good as new, so if you see a bit of a ding in it that is why. How it got damaged is beyond me because the packaging was pristine (I bought a cup from them month ago, the sparkly one I use quite often, anyway their packaging is really impressive) and everything else was fine. Regardless of its damage, I love this tea tray, it has a fairly deep well allowing for a decent amount of sloshing or pouring off of the wash, plus it is easier to pour out when it is full unlike the shallow plastic tray of my main tea tray. I like the solid weight of the tray, it doesn't feel at all flimsy or cheap, and the bamboo looks so good against that pure while porcelain. 

The teapot has some pros and cons, but I suppose all teapots do, as I have rarely run into ones that I would say are absolutely perfect. First off I love the top handle, my favorite style of handle is the side handle, but when you are taking photos with your right hand and pouring with your left you are quick to realize that side handle pots are not really ambidextrous, top handle though, you can pour with both hands and switch angles at ease. I love the shape of the pot, the round body and wide mouth with the point spout makes for an aesthetically pleasing piece. The cons though, well this makes or breaks it for a lot of people, it has a slow pour and dribbles out the lid when pouring, and if you have it at too far of an angle it will dribble up the handle and onto your hand if you are holding it forward. The slow pour is not too much of a problem for me, I will mostly be using it for guests or when I want a pot of something big (as it is 240ml) so I will be using teas that can take a lazy pour or can take grandpa style steeping. The dribbling I am not a fan of, but so many pots do it that I honestly consider the ones that manage to not dribble the exception, one of the benefits of always using a tea tray! 

The cups are lovely, lovely to look at and use. They are wide and flat and hold 45ml, and more importantly, the matte style glaze of the porcelain gives it a silky smooth texture that feels great to hold and when touching the lips. Cup texture is something that I think a lot of places don't take into consideration, I have a few cups that are gorgeous but I tend to not want to use them because they feel super weird. I have nothing bad at all to say about the cups! Now, the big question, do I think this set is worth the price tag? Absolutely, it is currently on sale for $41 with free shipping, and for a nice white porcelain set with a really spectacular tea tray, finding a better deal will be hard. 

Teaware sent for review

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