This stunning lotus blossom is rendered in Yixing Hongni clay and features a remarkable level of detail. Its unglazed high-grade clay surface will quicly stain, giving this flower an organic look. This tea pet doubles as an incense holder - a stick of incense can be inserted into it pointing up. Pouring tea on this lotus tea pet evokes the beauty, serenity, and purity of the lotus, as well as evoking Buddhism, with which lotuses are closely associated.
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.