Last Updated on 09/20/2020 by Desmond
When somebody going to buy a teaware, the glass tea set must be in his wish list. A transparent body is the unique and most attractive characteristic of glass teaware. Particularly for herbal tea lovers, seeing the dry flowers blooming in the water is a pleasure.
Even though most of the glass teaware at a reasonable price now and with a fashionable style. But in fact, it got a long history. In the past, glass is a kind of treasure, only made into teaware for the sacrifice rituals but not for tea drinking. People use glass teaware for brewing tea was after the production technology got mature.
The Origin And Development Of Glass Teaware
The story began on the discovery of glass. According to the archaeological study, the earliest glass was found in the Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt regions, with more than 4000 years of history. And Ancient Egyptian were regarded as the people who invent the glass first.
China is one of the ancient civilizations and the birthplace of tea culture; the earliest glass was found at Qin Dynasty(B.C 221-207.) A kind of material called colored glaze was regarded as the most initial glass in ancient China. This is a kind of glass(modern standard) with a different basic component and lots of Plumbum. So it got a beautiful color and low transparency. Due to the backward productivity, all these colored glazes were only made into art.
Time at the Tang Dynasty(AD 618-907), China and the West’s communication began growing. The technology of the west glaze spread into China and improved productivity. Some glass teawares were found in the Tang Dynasty temple in the archaeological dig, which was for the sacrifice rituals. They are regarded as the earliest glass teaware of China.
The reason for this kind of glaze teaware wasn’t popular is the cost too expensive. And most tea lovers thought brewing tea with the ceramic teaware can better improve the tea flavor, glaze can’t. But they didn’t know, glass teaware became a trend hundreds of years later.
Pros of Glass Teaware
Glass teaware can’t love by people without the various pros of it.
The beautiful appearance it’s the biggest pro of glass teaware. Most of them are clear, some creative style may with some charming color to be more lively. Due to the remarkable plasticity and hardness, it can make into various style, and it won’t get the rough selvage like the ceramics teaware.
Of course, the beautiful not only about the appearance but the vision it builds during brewing.
When you use a glass teapot making tea, you can see the leaves dancing in the water and spread slowly after adding hot water. To flower tea, the dry flower will spread just like blooming. The tea components dissolve out and color the water gradually, the vision just like an abstract painting.
Another amazing thing, if you going to make light-fermented tea like Longjing green tea or silver needle, you just need a standard glass cup. And you will see the leaves will vertically suspend in the water.
Use the best-match teaware according to the tea type can improving the tea flavor. But to a rookie, making the tea at the right taste successfully it the most important. The key is not to spoil tea taste.
- Residual Taste. The purple sand teapot is excellent because of its ability to absorb tea taste. The long time it used, the more fragrance it adds to the infusion. But the con of it is only available for making one type of tea. And the glass teaware does not has the tiny pores on its body like the purple sand one. So it won’t leave the tea taste, which will affect the next time brewing.
- Easy to clean. Glass teaware also will leave the tea taste if you do not take the clean. Yes, we are talking about the tea stain. Fortunately, the glass teaware has a smooth surface like the porcelain one. It makes the clean job easy after every time using.
In the past, glass cost a lot. But thanks to the development of productivity, ordinary glass belongs to a low-cost material now. In all teawares types, the glass one may get the lowest price at the same quality. Of course, some glass tea sets also expensive by its delicate design.
Cons of Glass Teaware
Just like the hero in most stories, glass teaware also got its weakness.
Fragile is the biggest con of glass teaware. And this weakness not only makes it can’t against a hit but may break by a sudden alternate cooling and heating. Fortunately, this con is overcome by newer technologies. More and more heat-resisting glass teaware comes, and they are stronger too.
When using a glass tea set, follow the points below, avoid to make it break.
- Don’t use it with the hard tea tray like the stone;
- Don’t make the sudden alternate cooling and heating, it may break by the contraction;
- Store well after using;
High Heat Conductivity
Glass has a higher heat conductivity than ceramics. It will make the tea infusion cool down quickly, but it doesn’t matter. The bigger problem is that the high conductivity makes it hard to hold with hand and may even burn. Of course, this con can be solved by some creative design.
Common Glass Teaware Styles
Due to the great plasticity, glass can be made into various styles teawares. Except for the whole glass-made, most of them will have other materials to counteract the glass cons. Some of the glass teawares may come with an excellent performance by creative design.
Glass Teapot With Infuser
Old school tea lovers are not very receptive glass tea sets. They thought it lacks classical elegance, but the fashion young man loves them much. And most people who pick glass teaware are those who pursue new tea making ways, and they are rookies in the tea ceremony. So, a glass teapot with an infuser, no doubt, greatly helps them make a delicious tea.
Except for the function to filter tea leaves, a simple internal infuser can help the clean job become more comfortable. But a con it got, if you put too much tea leaves in, the center can not be heating well when brewing.
Heat-resistant Glass Kettle
Ordinary glass is easily broken by heating. But scientists increase the boron contain and make high borosilicate glass. Even though the transparency not as good as the common one, the coefficient of thermal expansion reduces a lot and will not break by the uneven heating anymore. The high borosilicate glass kettle can resistants over 400℃ – 500℃ and can withstand “-30 ℃ to 160℃” instant temperature difference.
What is worth knowing, the heat-resistant glass kettles are also classified. Some are with an electric heater, some can be heated by the fire directly, and some with a magnetic sticker can be heated by the induction cooker. But remember one thing, each heat-resistant glass kettle only can be heated in its own way; the electric one can’t be heated by fire, or it will be a danger.
Besides heating water, a glass kettle also suitable cook herbal tea or herbal medicine. The transparent body helps you observe the cooking state and control the concentration easily. Even you can see the flower blooming slowly in the water.
Double-wall Vacuum Glass Cup
One con of the glass cup is burn-hand because of the high thermal conductivity. Therefore, smart people gave creative design. They made a double-wall for a glass teacup and then removed the air in the gap to vacuum. In this way, the heat-shielding performance increases a lot, and won’t burn hand anymore.
How To Pick Glass Tea Sets
Glass teawares got many styles, they look a little different, almost all are clear. But when you going to buy a set, you need to identify the quality carefully. Bad quality glass teawares are dangerous by suddenly broken. Here come 3 tips help your buying.
- Thickness. The wall of the glass teaware must be uniform, or it may break by the uneven heating. Look carefully, and use your fingers to touch the wall thickness, do not pick the bad one.
- Little lump. Some glass teaware made traditionally may have a small lump left by the glass melt cutting. This little lump is inevitable, typically at the opening or the bottom, or the components connection place. A too big lump may make the teaware lost balance and shake, or a high coefficient of thermal expansion. A machine-made glass teaware usually doesn’t have this little lump.
- Bubbles. If you look carefully, you will find many bubbles in the glass or some unnatural stripes. That is inevitable too. But the higher quality, the less the bubbles it gets. These bubbles and stripes also will influence the coefficient of thermal expansion, so pick the less one.
How To Maintain Glass Teaware
Two critical points on glass teaware maintain, avoid breaking and color change.
Avoid breaking. When using glass teaware, handle them gently, and avoid to crash with other teawares on the tea tray. Store them well after using; it’s better stored with a particular container.
Clean thoroughly. Everybody knows after making tea, the tea stain is easily left behind in the teaware interior. The longer the time, the harder it clean. Teaware made from other material, the tea stain only left in the interior, can not see it outside.
But due to the glass is clear, the interior tea stain will affect the beautiful. And after a long time, the tea stain may permeate the glass, reduce the transparency, and change the color. So it must clean thoroughly after every time using.