Back in France, I have the opportunity to make tea with my mother's porcelain teaware. She bought it in the late 1960s from the Herend manufactory (est. 1826 in Hungary). It's a very classical aristocratic style, hand painted in great detail. It's the kind of teaware you'd expect to drink with a princess or a duchess. No wonder Herend would devote a section of their site to their Famous Customers.
This is now a bygone time in Europe as well, where (Ikea styled) simplicity and affordability has taken over. Nostalgia for the old days of kings and queens is part of the magic of drinking with this porcelain.
Usually, this set stays locked in a safe place and is seldom used. A family tea party for my return gave me the right opportunity to take it out. I noticed that the teapot was stained inside, so I cleaned it beforehand. Then, I chose a top red tea from Taiwan to go along with this set. Red (or black in Europe) tea is the best fit for this teaware.
Still, I used gongfu cha principles to preheat the pot and cups. I simply put the (whole) leaves in the teapot and poured hot mineral in it. The flat inside filter of the teapot is enough. No sugar and no milk were necessary for a tea of this quality. My family was quite happy with the result! And so was I!
Song of Tasting Tea at West Mountain Temple
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