Friday, September 22, 2017

Teaware Review: Aloha Aina Ceramics Cup

Teaware is quite personal. Some people prefer fancy porcelain cups and pots, while others want everything necessary for a traditional gongfu session. Teaware fanatics like me want all of it! It's not necessary to have lots of teaware, a few simple pieces will do. But many of us like to collect it and I'm always looking out for potters and artisans that create special pieces.

I recently received a beautiful cup from Aloha Aina Ceramics, so it's time for a teaware review! Aloha Aina Ceramics is based in the south of Mexico. The company was started by Alex Krotkov a teaware obsessive that decided to start making and selling cups (I checked in with Alex and they were not hit by the terrible earthquake). Alex is Russian, and the cups are made using a traditional Russian technique that involves multiple firings. According to Alex, the first two are at about 950° celsius, and then a third at a lower temperature that uses the addition of milk to give the clay additional protection and a unique distressed/wooden look. Alex told me this technique was used in Russia centuries ago and in some workshops they keep passing that technology.

The cup is a perfect size for my daily use. It's about 7 ounces, and holds a full pour from the gaiwan I regularly use. I like this as I can use just one large cup when I'm having a tea session just for me. It's a luxurious feeling to have the large cup of tea all to myself! It also makes it easier if I'm taking my tea set outside since I wouldn't need a separate pitcher.

The cup is perfect to use with any type of tea, as the thick walls will keep the heat in but also spare your fingers. It's easy to hold in both hands (or it'll fit in one, of course) to cozy up with on a chilly day. The designs on the outside of the cup are organic and reflect objects found in nature. The appearance makes it a nice piece to use for a tea meditation. My cup also has a nice crackle glaze on the inside. I can see myself taking this cup along for some tea in the park, or after a hike in the woods. Alex also sent a smaller cup as well, which could be used if you want to share your tea, or give a little tea critic a taste. It's very sweet and I love the designs on it.

Thank you to Alex and Aloha Aina Ceramics for this beautiful cup! If you would like to learn more about the company, you can visit the etsy store here.


  1. Lovely cups. I think mine is sitting at the post office right now! I can't wait to pick it up tomorrow.

  2. Love the top photo! Fabulous composition!