All things Chinese tea, food and culture.

Hello Tea Cup

Hello Tea Cup

An authentic magazine about all things tea, food and Chinese culture.

Recent Tea Posts

Tea Market Flooded by Typhoon Mangkhut: Guangzhou Fangcun

Tea Market Flooded by Typhoon Mangkhut: Guangzhou Fangcun

On the 18th of September, Guangzhou’s Fangcun tea market, was completely ruined by typhoon Mangkhut. This is really big deal for tea shop owners who’ve a huge part of their wealth in pu erh tea. On September 16th, between 19:00 and 20:00, the water level […]

The ‘Gong Dao Bei’ (Fairness Pitcher) Was Originally Made for Liquor

The ‘Gong Dao Bei’ (Fairness Pitcher) Was Originally Made for Liquor

When we prepare tea the ceremonial way, a tea pitcher is a must. This pitcher is also known as ‘Gong Dao Bei’ (fairness cup). In modern times, this tool makes sure the tea flavor is distributed evenly among each served cup. What even long-time tea […]

18 Styles Of Man Sheng Yixing Teapots ‘Man Sheng Shi Ba Shi’

18 Styles Of Man Sheng Yixing Teapots ‘Man Sheng Shi Ba Shi’

The 18 types of Man Sheng teapots were designed by painter and seal engraver during the Qing Dynasty – Chen Hong Shou (1768-1830), and handcrafted by Yixing zisha (purple clay) craft master Yang Peng Nian. Chen Hong Shou styled himself as “Man Sheng”(曼生), hence the title “Man Sheng teapots”.

chen man sheng
Mr. Man Sheng Chen

Meeting Yang Peng Nian

In the era of Man Sheng, the zisha art was relatively mature in terms of production and appreciation. However, there was little innovation, and it had come to a period of imitation and repetition. While being the magistrate of Yixing County, Man Sheng visited the labor scenes of the potters and became very interested in zisha ware and the zisha fabrication. Man Sheng also met the local potter Yang Peng Nian in Yixing, and appreciated Yang’s talent and his natural style of handcrafting. These laid the groundwork for their collaboration of Man Sheng teapots.

Based on the unique aesthetic standards, Man Sheng integrated the artistic forms of painting, calligraphy, poetry writing, seal carving and sculpture into the zisha art, and designed 18 types of teapots with simple shapes and elegant styles. These designs were handed over to Yang Peng Nian so he could realize these designs. These teapots, as highly appreciated classic works of the zisha circle and the art circle, mark another prosperous period in the history of zisha art.

The Characteristics Of Man Sheng Teapots

Instead of complicated decorations and stifling styles, the main feature of the Man Sheng teapots is the creativity and the simplicity. There is a lot of space left on the body of the teapot with inscriptions engraved on it. Different types of Man Sheng teapots have different themes for the inscriptions.

A Man Sheng teapot that we can appreciate today usually has the seal inscription of the “A Man Tuo Shi” (阿曼陀室) at the bottom of the teapot, and the seal carving of “Peng Nian” (彭年) under the handle. “A Man Tuo Shi” was the name Man Sheng called his study where he designed the teapots, and “Peng Nian” naturally refers to the craft master Yang Peng Nian.

The 18 Types of Man Sheng Zisha Clay Teapots

The teapots designed by Man Sheng was summed up in 18 types:

  1. Shí piáo
  2. Tíliáng
  3. Lì yīn
  4. Húlu
  5. Héhuān
  6. Páo guā
  7. Jǐng lán
  8. Hàn wǎ
  9. Jí zhí
  10. Rǔ dǐng
  11. Zhōu pán
  12. Zhù chǔ
  13. Shí diào
  14. Jìng wǎ
  15. Diàn hé
  16. Bàn piáo
  17. Hé dòu
  18. Què yuè

There were several different designs with slight change of details under the same type, but the basics were the same. As cultural heritage, each of the 18 types has its own merits.

If you’re interested in owning a Yixing teapot in one of the above styles you may have a look at Teasenz’ Yixing teapot collection.

Let’s take a glance at some famous man sheng artworks below that are available for display in art museums around China.

He Huan Hu 合欢 (He Huan Teapot)

The term “He Huan” means a happy gathering. This teapot is an excellent choice for special occasions to emphasize unity.

Height: 8.5 cm

He Huan Hu - Yixing Zisha Teapot

He Huan Teapot 2: height: 7.9cm

Jing Lan Hu (Well Fence Teapot)

Jing Lan means ‘column well’ (or “well fence”) as the high profile shape of this teapot resembles a column shaped well.

Height: 8.6 cm, opening Diameter: 7.9 cm

fang gu jing lan hu yixing teapot

Zhu Jie Hu ( Bamboo Teapot)

Height: 8.8 cm, opening Diameter: 12.2 cm

zhu jie hu yixing teapot

Jing Wa Hu 镜瓦 (Mirror and Tile Pipe Shaped Teapot)

Height: 7.8 cm, width: 13 cm


Hu Lu Hu 葫芦 (Gourd Shaped Teapot)

Height: 10.5 cm

Shi Tiao Ti Liang Hu (Stone Ladle Shaped Loop-Handled Teapot)

What makes this style of Yixing teapot special is the handle that resembles the ancient ‘tiao’ cooking vessel.

Height: 11 cm, opening Diametre: 5.7 cm

Shi Piao Hu (Stone Ladle Shaped Teapot)

Height: 7.5 cm, opening Diameter: 6.8 cm

Pao Gua Hu (Pear Gourd Shaped Teapot)

Height: 9 cm

Opening Diameter: 6.3 cm

Shi Piao Ti Liang Hu (Loop-Handled Teapot)

A Yixing teapot shape that stand on 3 feet and a handle.

Height: 12.8 cm

Grapefruit Iced Green Tea Recipe

Grapefruit Iced Green Tea Recipe

Summer is the best season to enjoy the freshness of green tea with the flavor of sweet and bitter grapefruit. And the good news is, everyone can do it. Here’s what you’ll need for two glasses of grapefruit iced green tea: 10 g of green […]

Best Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe with Sea Salt Cheese Foam

Best Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe with Sea Salt Cheese Foam

Ever tried combining strawberry with cheese flavors? Well here’s the new trend from Asia: a strawberry iced tea with a creamy layer of cheese foam. Words can’t explain how fantastic it is, you’ve got to follow the steps below and try! Ingredients: Here’s what you’ll […]

Summer Cooling Tea Recipes

Summer Cooling Tea Recipes

One of the best things about summer is sipping a refreshing drink on a relaxing afternoon. It’s even better when the drink is tasty, healthy and homemade! Now we have 2 summer-ready tea recipes that guarantee to cool you down.

Cold-Brewed White Tea Recipe

White tea undergoes little process and contains maximal amino acids. It has the effect of removing heat from the body and soothing the nerves, which makes it a perfect choice on a hot day! Cold brew brings pure aroma out of white tea, no bitterness, just like the soft touch of summer breeze.


  • 8 g of white tea
  • 100 ml of hot water
  • 200 ml of cold water
  • Ice
  • Optional add-ins like honey or sliced lemon


  1. Put white tea leaves in the teapot, pour in 100 ml of hot water to “wake up”the leaves. Steep for 1 minutes.
  2. Pour 200 ml of cold water in the teapot. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Optional: add some ice in the teapot.
  4. Add more cold water in the teapot for multiple steepings.

Honey Mint Green Tea

Minty green tea paired with sweet honey, simple and super refreshing.


  • 10 g of green tea
  • 15 g of fresh mint sprigs
  • Honey


  1. Put green tea leaves and mint sprigs in the teapot, steep with 300 ml of hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Discard the tea leaves and mint sprigs, let the tea cool down before chilling.
  3. Add the honey in tea to your taste. Voila!
Fried Tea Leaves? Yes, Here Are 2 Recipes

Fried Tea Leaves? Yes, Here Are 2 Recipes

Fried tea leaves? Oh yes, it exists! It is trendy to add tea into food these days, such as the dish tea-scented chicken we introduced recently. Both brewed and fresh tea leaves can be used to make fried tea leaves. There are basically two ways of making it. […]

DIY Iced Peach Jasmine Green Tea Recipe for This Summer!

DIY Iced Peach Jasmine Green Tea Recipe for This Summer!

Celebrate the wonderful summer with a refreshing glass of iced tea. Forget the sugar-loaded ice tea packs from the supermarket. Instead go for this highly nutritious and anti-oxidant rich jasmine tea recipe flavored with fresh peaches and natural agave syrup. Experience this amazing taste as […]

Is Tea Acidic? Factors Affecting PH Level in Tea

Is Tea Acidic? Factors Affecting PH Level in Tea

The PH level of tea is important for those who suffer from heartburn and acid refluxes. In such a cause it’s important to understand what affects the acidity level of tea.

Tea like other foods and beverages have an acidity level. Unless your doctor told you to adjust your diet due to heartburn or acid reflux, you probably have never heard of acidity levels in tea.

Tea and Acid Reflux

Acidity is measured by PH levels. Every food and drink have different PH levels. Therefore, what you eat or drink can affect your overal PH level. So, to avoid or reduce the affects of acid refluxes, one need to control the PH value. This can be done by avoiding as much as possible acidic food and drinks, while adding more alkaline food to your diet.

So is tea acidic? The generally tea is less acidic than coffee. A cup of black tea is mildly acidic, while green tea can range from mildly acidic to alkaline. However, ph levels can also vary within a tea type and there’s a wide range of ph levels observed among the many research publications. The observed PH levels ranges per type of tea are as follows:

  • Black tea: 3.1-6
  • Oolong tea: 5.9-8.2
  • White/Yellow:Green tea: 6.9-9.7

The reason for the large variation in observations is because the actual PH level of tea will depend on many factors than just the tea type!

Factors Affecting PH Level

Other factors than tea type that affect the PH level includes: the amount of leaves used, whether you use a tea bag or loose leaf tea as well as the temperature and steeping duration applied.

The amount of leaves

The PH level of a cup of tea is basically the combined averages of water (ph neutral) and brewed tea leaves. If the tea that you’re steeping is acidic, it means the more leaves you use, the more acidic your cup of tea becomes.

Tea bags versus loose tea

Tea bags generally consists of broken and crushed tea leaves. Therefore, tea bags tend to release more flavour in one go. A good quality loose leaf tea will consists out of full leaves and buds. They tend to release their flavour and acidity over many brews. Therefore a cup of tea made from tea bags tend to be more acidic.

Temperature and duration

Assuming the tea that you’re preparing is acidic, the brewing temperature and duration will positively affect acidity.

Caffeine in tea & heartburn

What is heartburn? What is GERD?

Heartburn is a term that described acid reflux symptoms that can cause cough, chest pain and/or burning. Occasional heartburn can easily with home remedies, diet and lifestyle changes. However, heartburn might also be chronic. In such a cause it’s caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which requires more serious medication and treatment.

What’s also important to consider is caffeine in tea. Caffeine tends to relax the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). This allows the acid in your stomach to go back up the esophagus, causing heartburns.

You may switch to decaf coffee/tea or teas with very low caffeine levels. To further reduce the caffeine levels, you discard the first steep of your tea. Majority of caffeine content is washed away in first steep.

Obesity & hernia

There’s evidence that heartburn and acid reflux could be caused by obesity or lower back problems. While tea may be mildly acidic, it’s excellent as a weight loss beverage. In addition, it’s anti-inflammatory and bone strengthening effects can also reduce the chance of hernia in the lower back. Thus, consuming tea in moderations can still be beneficial.

Intriguing Facts (and Myths) Behind Champagne Bubbles

Intriguing Facts (and Myths) Behind Champagne Bubbles

You thought you know about champagne? Think again.Not many things will get a party started like the pop of a champagne bottle. Everyone loves the drink, and it seems to lend itself well to use with any food, as long as you avoid nasty episodes […]