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Korean Ceramicist Develops Teapots for the Best Tea Experience

7 years ago181 views

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In the Korean city of Gimhae there is a very unique ceramics expert. He has worked for over 10 years despite limited profit. Today we will meet this naïve Korean ceramic expert who has a warm heart.

Kim Hakgi began working as a tea salesman in South Korea in 1980.

Over a 20-year period, Hakgi gradually came to realize that the teapot often affects the taste of the tea as it brews.

He visited ceramic experts to find an explanation, but nobody could help him. Most of the craftsmen making tea sets are experts in ceramics, not in brewing tea.

[Kim Hakgi, Ceramic Artist]:
"I wasn't satisfied. I had to have a go at making some tea sets myself, so I bought a ceramics factory."

Hakgi insists on an extremely high firing temperature to remove any smell or taste of the clay in the ceramics.

[Kim Hakgi, Ceramic Artist]:
"The tea's original taste is important but the teapot used is important too. If we use low temperature for baking tea sets, the clay is not completely baked. So later that factor changes the tea's taste."

While most other ceramicists will use a kiln heated to only 1280 degrees, he makes ceramic tea sets in a kiln fired to over 1,300 degrees Celsius or over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit

[Kim Hakgi, Ceramic Artist]:
"If temperatures are increased to over 1,300 degrees Celsius the ceramics risk becoming deformed or melted. Even so, I just increase the fire carefully."

With each increase in temperature more and more fuel is needed. So Hagki spends 3 times more money making his tea sets than other manufacturers. But he still sells his tea sets at a similar price to his competitors.

[Kim Hakgi, Ceramic Artist]:
"I have been doing this job for over 10 years. But I really can't make a profit from it."

Hakgi still lives to find the perfect teapot.

NTD News, Gimhae, South Korea