Mutton Fat Jade Porcelain is one of our most exciting ceramic discoveries of last year. It is a recent creation by potters in Dehua, Fujian, one of China's porcelain capitals (along with Jingdezhen). Dehua is famous for their carved porcelain statuary, where the emphasis is on the texture of the clay and the character of the naked clay body, as opposed to Jingdezhen which is known for the painting on the surface of their wares.This strikingly-white, raw (unglazed) porcelain has an ethereal luminous quality to it that is achieved through a very specific ratio of flux to kaolin in the clay blend. This ratio must fall within a very narrow window to create the combination of a soft, matte finish with radiant translucence that gives this clay its name. The subsurface scattering of light through this porcelain is reminiscent of snow, beeswax, or, apparently, mutton fat. It is an excellent insulator and despite being unglazed is vitrified enough to make any kind of tea without taking on its flavor. Unlike normal raw porcelain, it doesn't stain easily - simply washing it with hot water and wiping it clean after each use is enough to maintain its brilliant whiteness through months of daily use. It will eventually begin to take on a soft ivory patina which can be easily removed with baking soda. Despite being unornamented white porcelain - the most standard of teaware materials - these wares never fail to turn heads when they're brought out.
These 15 ml tasting cups have a tall, lipped hemisphere shape. They maintain the elegant translucence that is the hallmark of Mutton Fat Jade Porcelain, while being thick and insulative enough to remain comfortable to hold even when filled with boiling hot tea. Despite being the smallest piece of our Mutton Fat Jade Porcelain tea ware family, the cups have the unique distinction of really letting this clay shine - the texture of this soft, matte porcelain on the lips is incomparable and has an immediately-noticeable effect on the tea.
This teacup is small but mighty. Has an amazing texture, it is a pleasure to hold, has just the right volume to hold a small amount of tea, enough to do just what the cup is supposed to do, elevate the tasting experience, to a point where I often find myself having entire sessions with it.