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The 5 Best Asian Themed Traditional Gongfu Tea Sets by Dahlia
These are some of the best Asian tea sets we have found, and it is cool because they are all made by the same company. If you are a tea lover that appreciates the Asian flair, this group of tea sets by Dahlia should get you excited! There are 5 completely different sets here, each one has a totally unique style.
If you ever have gatherings with other tea enthusiasts, having a nice set is a lot of fun to show off. If you are going to follow the traditional tea ceremony, any one of these sets will do the trick for you. Here we will take a close look at our top 5 favorite Asian style tea sets!
Dahlia Carved Dragon Ice Crack Celadon Porcelain 9-pcs Gongfu Tea Gift Set in Gift Box
Before we get into this one, it should be explained that Gongfu is translated to ‘leisure tea’. Gongfu is the traditional Chinese way to enjoy tea ceremonial style. It is designed to provide the participants with the most enjoyment of the tea possible. Savoring each step in the process is critical. You can learn more about the traditional way of having tea here.
This 9 piece Gongfu set is our favorite of the 5 we have covered here. The celadon porcelain has such a nice jade-like vibe to it. It immediately has the Chinese look and feel which is exactly what you want in an Asian-themed tea set. The finish is a high gloss cracked glaze which gives it a classy, aged appearance.
This set is dishwasher and microwave safe, but I would be careful with these pieces in the sink and dishwasher, they are porcelain, after all. Too much contact with other dishes could lead to cracking or chipping. You want to be extra careful whenever handling fragile materials like porcelain.
What is included in the Set?
- Teapot- The teapot itself is adorable with a built-in strainer (for using full leaves). It has a handle with what appears to be a dragon’s head. It is a light minty green color with cream-colored accents around the middle and on the spout and handles. It has a lid with a string, which is a nice touch to keep the lid from getting lost (which can happen often).
- Strainer & Stand- The strainer and stand are well designed and will do the job of straining your tea very well. The strainer is a cup-shaped piece that sits on top of the cylindrical stand, making it easy to strain your tea. These 2 pieces match the teapot perfectly and are a necessity if you are creating a Gongfu tea set.
- Tea pitcher- In the Chinese tradition of Gongfu, the tea is not poured into the cups from the teapot, it is poured from the tea pitcher. The pitcher here has a similar design to the teapot; however, it is shorter and has no lid. The tea pitcher is just the temporary vessel for moving tea from the pot to the cups. It has the embossed design band around the middle and the neat dragon head handle.
- Teacups (x6)- These are the tiny little traditional Chinese teacups, standing only barely over one inch tall. They are the same mint green color as the rest of the set. Traditional Chinese cups have no handles and are meant to be used with both hands. These cute little cups go perfectly with the rest of the set.
- Very pretty and well designed
- Follows the traditional Chinese ceremony requirements
- The cracked porcelain finish looks classy
- Comes with 9 pieces
- Good price considering all you get
- If you are not familiar with Chinese tradition this set will be too small and annoying
This is our favorite because it is affordable and looks amazing. There are others in this list that are a bit more extravagant, but if you want a handsome traditional Chinese tea set for a very reasonable price, you will have a hard time finding a better one than this set!
Dahlia Rice Grain Porcelain Tea Set (Teapot + 6 Teacups) In Gift Box, Ling Long Devil’s Work Floral
This set is a completely different design than the first one! It is made with the Ling Long (Devil’s Work) style. This Ling Long style means exquisite in Mandarin, back during the Ming dynasty times, it literally meant ‘devils work’. This is because it was so difficult to make. The porcelain uses uncooked rice in the creation process to make small indentations of the uncooked rice.
At the time this style was becoming popular there was only one place that made it, so it became incredibly famous for being difficult to make and expensive, and rare. The design is interesting, and it has become extremely popular again in recent times.
What is Included with the Set?
- Teapot- The teapot is perforated and has a built-in strainer on the inside of the stem. It has a nice blue floral design that goes around the top and bottom of the pot. It is 6 inches tall so it will not hold too much tea (like any traditional Chinese set). It comes with a lid that has a little handle on the top. The lid is tied to the pot with yellow yarn.
- Cups (x6)- The cups look much like the teapot, with the perforations and the floral design. On the cups, the floral design is prominent around the top rim area where the bottom band is close to the very bottom and harder to see due to the curve of the cups. These cups are traditional Chinese style, so they are not excessively big, standing only just under 3 inches.
- Dishwasher safe
- Extremely unique rice grain design
- Built-in strainer in the teapot
- Cups are slightly bigger for more tea per pour
- More expensive than many other sets
This set has the traditional Ling Long rice grain look, which is not something you will see very often. It does not come with anything extra, just the teapot and the cups. It does come in an attractive gift box which will be sure to impress anyone who gets this set as a gift. The only reason this set did not make the number one spot is that it did not have that instant ‘old traditional’ look we were craving. This is a wonderful set and if you want elegance and uniqueness, it is worth every penny.
Dahlia Rice Grain Porcelain Tea Set (Teapot + 6 Teacups) In Gift Box, Ling Long Devil’s Work
This set is like the set above. They both have the ling long style and the perforated sides, but this set has a more minimalist, sleek feel. The set is white porcelain with attractive thin silver banding on the top and bottom. This set has no floral designs on it, it has a much simpler design.
It is a 7 piece set that comes with no extra pieces, just the teapot, and the cups. It is dishwasher and microwave safe like the other sets we have covered. However, like the others, it is still porcelain which is an extremely fragile material. I would not recommend throwing this set in the sink and washing it with the rest of your dishes!
What is Included in the Set?
Teapot- The teapot is 6 inches tall. It has a built in strainer on the inside which will stop large leaf pieces from going out the spout and into your cup. It has a handsome lid that is attached with a yellow strap of yarn. It has a perforated design which looks very attractive when it is filled with tea.
Cups (x6)- The cups look exactly like the teapot except for having lids. They are white porcelain with a thin silver band on the top and bottom. The sides of the cups are perforated so you can see the contents inside. These traditional-style cups are only 2.7” tall.
- Well-made set
- Simple uncluttered design
- Built-in strainer
- Elegant look and feel
- Could be considered boring looking by some
- A bit expensive
Much like the other Ling Long set, this one has an ancient design element that we just cannot resist. It is a streamlined design with no painted flowers or other adornments, which is a clean simple look which we really like. It is not the most inexpensive set, and it will not appeal to everyone due to the simple design. However, if you like sleek and white, this is your set!
Dahlia Ice Crack Celadon Porcelain Tea Set: Teapot w. built in Infuser+ 6 Teacups in Gift Box, Blue
This is a 7 piece traditional style tea set. It is a soft sky blue color with a high gloss finish and a cracked ice surface which makes it appear aged. The set itself is a minimalist design with no painted shapes or stripes or any type of decoration besides the cracked finish.
Like the other sets in this list, this one is dishwasher and microwave safe. The only caveat here is that you would need to remove the teapot’s handle before you put it in the microwave or dishwasher. The handle is a plastic-wrapped handle made to look like traditional bamboo wrappings. It looks remarkably like our top choice except for the color here is blue, and it does not come with any extras, only the teapot, and the cups.
What is Included in the Set?
- Teapot- The teapot is a simple blue design with a built in strainer like the other sets here. It comes with a small lid that has a hole in it to allow you to pour the tea while leaving the lid on. The handle is removable so that you can safely wash the teapot. The teapot is just over 6” tall and has the traditional Chinese vibe to it that we thought was adorable.
- Teacups (x6)- The cups are the traditional cups with no handles. Each one is only 3.15” which is slightly bigger than the previous set’s cups. They are unremarkable in the design other than the nice blue color and the ice-cracked porcelain finish. Sometimes unremarkable is a good thing in the design department when you are going for a minimalist feel.
- The cups hold a bit more than some other sets
- Simple design
- Removable handle for easy care
- Built-in strainer inside the teapot
- Not too expensive
- The simple design could be unappealing if you want something fancy looking
This is a set for somebody who wants simple, elegant, and a bit more tea in their cup! It is well made like all of the Dahlia products we have touched on in this list and will last a long time if you take proper care of it. We wish it came with a few extras but in this case, you just get the necessities. Even so, for the price, this is an attractive traditional Chinese tea set that will impress your friends.
Dahlia Prosperity Peony Exquisite Filigree Porcelain Gongfu Tea Gift Set (Teapot + 6 Teacups), Blue
The Prosperity Peony Exquisite Filigree set is the most colorful and artistically decorated set of all the 5 we have covered here. It is created with the filigree style of decoration which gives it a precise artisan look and feel. This set is just one of those that you keep looking at because there are so many details to see in the artwork. The fact that it is last on the list does not mean it is the worst, only that we liked it the least and that is just our taste, not a measure of quality or worthiness.
This is a handsome elegant set that looks awfully expensive and fancy and is sure to impress your fussy tea friends. It is also dishwasher and microwave safe, provided you remove the metal handle from the teapot.
What is Included in the Set?
- Teapot- The teapot is pretty with a striking floral filigree design and blue periwinkle background color which really draws the eye. It comes with a unique recessed top where the lid sits under the edge of the teapot. The metal handle sticks up and is easy to remove for easy cleaning. It stands 2.56 inches tall, so it is a tiny teapot! Small but beautiful!
- Cups (x6)- Each cup is unique. They are all a different color and have a remarkably interesting floral design. There is a red, blue, yellow, light blue, light green, and dark green cup. These cups are shaped like an upside-down triangle with a much wider mouth than the base, which is a nice unique design element. They are only 1.7” tall so they will not hold too much tea.
- Colorful and eye-catching design
- Removable metal handle
- The recessed teapot lid is unique
- All cups are different colors
- Small tea set
- More expensive than most for the size
The Prosperity Peony Exquisite Filigree set is not going to appeal to everyone. It is colorful and extremely unique. The filigree gives it a regal touch and the wide rim cups have a certain almost martini glass vibe to them. However, for someone that loves the look of floral and filigree this set is going to get them excited. It is not the cheapest set out there, but like all the others by Dahlia, it is well made and will last a very long time.
How to Choose a Good Traditional Gongfu Tea Set?
Functionality- Any set you are considering purchasing needs to meet your basic functionality requirements. For example, there are some sets that are very pretty or decorative, but they are far too thin and fragile to use or travel with. Still, other sets may be way too small to be useable in your everyday life, or for a party with friends. It is important to consider the functionality of any set you are looking at.
Design- This comes down to personal preference (and a little bit of functionality again because the design is not just colors and aesthetics, but also form and function). The thing that draws you to a particular set to begin with is most likely the design.
There is no accounting for taste, and no way to know why we are attracted to certain designs. However, the design is a critical component to why we choose what we do. Makes sure the set you ultimately choose is appealing to look at, so that you will enjoy it for years.
Often, we can make buying decisions based on pure logic and reason, for example, purchasing a tea set because it is a good deal, and it is well made. This may be a good decision intellectually, but you may never actually use the set if you just do not like the way it looks and feels.
So, make certain that you really like the way the set you choose looks and feels, so that you will use it. After all, what good is a nice tea set if it just sits in your cupboard and never gets to come out and play?
Quality- This seems like common sense, but it often gets left out when people are making buying decisions. You get what you pay for and buying things for the sole reason that they are inexpensive is not a good reason. Especially with tea sets, there is a low-end market.
You find the low-end sets at places like Walmart and other big stores where they sell them by the thousands. These are hardly ever actually high-quality sets, and you will most likely end up never using them or breaking them.
You can tell if a set is of high quality by holding it and looking closely at the detail. Can you see the seams? Is the artwork off-center or sloppy? Can you feel the cups are ridiculously cheap and hollow-feeling? Is the price extremely low?
It is not always easy to discern quality in a tea set across the internet without being able to physically hold and examine things. However, you can see a good general picture of the set and you should be able to get an idea of the quality level by the pictures and the price point. Be aware, though, expensive sets are not always high quality!
Budget- Sometimes the bottom line is the price. No matter how much you like something there is just no way you can afford it! Usually, the smartest way to approach a buying decision like this is by having a set budget, and then judge the products only inside that budget constraint. This is easier said than done though, I have been guilty of looking at sets I could never afford! Window shopping is fun but ultimately if you can never afford what you are looking at, it is a waste of time.
Luckily for us tea lovers, there are many options for traditional sets that are not expensive at all. All 5 sets in this list are moderately priced. Some may be more expensive than others, but overall, this manufacturer makes good sets that most people can afford.
When making your choice, keep your budget in mind and narrow down your decision based on options that you could buy!
What is a Gongfu Tea Set? What Makes it Unique?
It means Kung Fu Tea! What a cool name right? Kung fu really does not mean fighting, it means skill and effort, and when applied to fighting it means skilled fighting which takes practice and effort. So, in the context of tea, it means skilled effort and practice making tea.
Gongfu tea is to brew and drink tea in a much more skilled and artistic way. This has an incredibly detailed ceremony that comes along with it as well. The idea behind this way of making tea has a spiritual meaning as well, aiming to become a more moral person.
So now that you know a bit more about what Gongfu is, we can talk more about the actual tea sets that go along with it.
Gongfu Cup Design
There are some things that make a Gongfu set different than a normal tea set. The cups are very small because the idea is not to drink as much tea as you can but to really taste and experience the tea. Because the goal is not the quantity of tea but the quality of tea, large cups would not make sense.
Another thing that is different is that many Gongfu sets will have a pitcher as well as a teapot. The pitcher is considered the sharing pitcher and is used by all the participants in the traditional ceremony. This is contrasted with normal sets where you pour from the pot.
Another interesting fact is that with a Gongfu set, the tea is made in the pot. This explains why most of the Gongfu teapots have strainers built-in, because oftentimes there are tea leaves in the pot steeping.
This is unique because many other tea sets are made to have only water in the pot, and the people drinking tea will have the bags or strainers in the individual cups.
All these parts are designed in a special way to meet the aesthetic and functional requirements of the ceremony.
Which Teas are Used in The Ceremony?
Generally, black teas are used in the ceremony. Teas like oolong are extremely popular. Other teas can be brewed this way, but traditionally the black teas have been used. Because they tend to be more powerful and fragrant, they make more of an impact on the person when they are slowly inhaled and sipped. Imagine whisky snobs sitting at a table sampling whiskey and you get an idea of what it looks like!
What Will You Need for a True Traditional Gongfu Ceremony?
There are a lot of things you will need to have a full traditional ceremony. Many people stick to the basics and omit some of the more arcane practices and items from their list. Here are all the things you would have to use to have a full ceremony the traditional way:
- Sharing pitcher- This was explained earlier, it is also called a fairness pitcher.
- Aroma cups- These are long cups designed for you to smell the tea.
- Drinking cups- Traditional small teacups are used.
- Tea cloth- Any small cloth will do, but you get style points for a dedicated tea cloth.
- Strainer- A strainer is used to strain the tea. In a pinch, you can get away with a built-in strainer inside the teapot.
- Teaspoon- This is a spoon dedicated to the tea ceremony.
- Tea leaf strainer- This one is a dedicated strainer just for the tea leaves, not the same as a normal strainer.
- Teacup tweezers- Yes, tweezers for the teacups so you don’t have to touch with your hands, which in some ceremonies is considered unsanitary.
- Teapot needle- This is not really a needle but a long utensil used to clean leaves out of the teapot.
As you can see there are a lot of little accessories involved in a truly traditional Gongfu ceremony! The ceremony is typically not done to the full extent these days, especially by westerners. More commonly you will see it practiced with a scaled-down set (like the ones on this page) and many of the more time-intensive parts of the ceremony are omitted.