China Tea Mugs – The Fine Mugs for That Perfect Cup of Tea
China tea mugs are available in two main types: bone china mugs and porcelain china mugs. Each have their own style and benefits over the other one, so let’s discuss a bit about each of them.
Bone China tea mugs
Bone china tea mugs are considered the finest of tea mugs due to the translucency of the material and the exquisite workmanship that is simply unmatched in other pottery types.
The reason why these China tea mugs are called bone china mugs is due to the addition of bone ash to the clay when creating the mug. Basically this will allow you to see right through the find china mugs when you hold them against the light.
The fine china clay is considered maybe the purest form of clay type that is used in the ceramic industry. It is not a surprise that this has been used for many years already in creating tea mugs and cups along with other ceramic, particularly fine porcelain pieces. Being able to mold them easily, they have quite a fine texture and feel to them, and they are white when fired.
The translucency that you see when holding one of these pieces against the light and the porcelain whiteness is given by the addition of bone ash, so this is how you can check that you indeed have a bone china mug in your hands.
Porcelain China tea mugs
The Porcelain China is a different, yet similar, type of china tea mug. Unlike the bone china type, this is not translucent. It is actually quite hard, white and non porous. When you truck it lightly you can hear a slight resonance coming from the piece. There are two type of materials used in making the porcelain China pieces: the soft paste as well as the hard paste.
The soft paste gives a rather creamy colored mugs and they are a bit porous as the end result. They have more glass like components. In case you get a chance to see such a piece broken, you will be able to easily notice a grainy base that is covered by that glaze layer that is quite glassy.
On the other hand the hard paste creates mugs that give your porcelain a whiter color, which is non porous. You can easily see this in a broken bug as you will have difficulties discerning the actual base from the outside glaze.
How to care for your China tea mugs
Regardless of which type you get, you need to care well for your china tea mugs in order to last you for many years. Your fine china mugs should never be placed in a dishwasher due to the strong action of various soaps that can easily damage your mug material. What you should do instead is hand wash your mug in hot water with a bit of mild detergent. Then rinse in cool water with a dash of vinegar for extra cleanness. Once properly cleaned you need to air dry your china mugs or use a lint free cloth for faster drying.
The porcelain China tea mugs, which are stronger and more durable than the bone china ones can usually be added to the dishwasher. However make sure that when you buy your mug, the instructions clearly say ‘dishwasher safe’ or ‘dishwasher and microwave safe’.
If you see extra hard to clean stains on your fine china tea mugs, you can easily remove them by mixing a gallon of hot water with a quarter cup baking soda. Simply fill your tea mugs with this liquid mix and leave it in for about an hour to properly soak in. Then simply wash it as mentioned above for regular cleaning and then air dry. If you still see the stains even after applying this procedure, you can try again by mixing a bit of salt with lemon juice or vinegar, depending what you have at home. Simply pour a bit of the liquid in the teapot and scrub it with your fingers gently. Then use cool water with vinegar for proper rinsing. Again, air dry or use a lint free cloth to dry your china tea mugs.