This fat round baby chicken is highly suspicious. It is so fat that its tiny feet don't touch the ground as it sits on its butt. It has a chubby face and is casting mad side eye. You can relieve its ire by pouring tea on the tiny tuft of comb on its round head. Or does that just make it more suspicious? We don't know, but what we do know is that this fat dumpling chick will patina beautifully over time as its earthy yellow clay absorbs tea oils with use.
Tea Pets 茶寵 (Chá Chǒng) are small figurines, usually made of unglazed stoneware (such as the kind teapots are made from), in the shape of animals, people, gods, mythical beasts, plants, fungi - pretty much anything at all. Their sole purpose is to be a recipient of waste water and waste tea produced over the course of the tea service from heating and rinsing the wares and leaves. Over time, they develop a patina of tea oils the way that tea pots do. This process of "raising" as it is called allows them to develop a dark, shiny lustre, with each tea pet taking on its own look and personality over time with use. They also serve a votive function - the pouring of tea over the figure calls in the "spirit" of whatever that figure represents. A good tea pet looks best when in use - ie when enjoying a stream of hot tea being poured over it.