In the past during the Pre Tang as well as Tang Dynasty, the most favoured
vessels for pouring tea were ewers of various sorts. Then with Ming dynasty,
porcelain teapots came into fashion and they were high fired vessels. It
culminated in the Jingdezhen brand of porcelain.
Starting from the Qing dynasty to the early postwar era and currently, the
popularity of Yixing terracotta clay teapots became very popular for
drinking and has rivalled porcelain wares as a preferred tea drinking
Similarly, Pre Tang and Tang, tea bowls instead of cups were used. Starting
from Ming and growing in popularity by Qing, teacups instead of tea bowls
were used to drink tea. Teacups became smaller and smaller till they
resemble the ones that we see today.
However,since the 1980s, the Taiwanese have been very active in reviving
drinking tea in bigger cups. Thus, the evolution continues from teacups,
they have evolved to bigger cups and then later on to expermentation with
bowls, perhaps with influence from the Japanese and the desire to preserve
Song dynasty or Tang dynasty style of drinking tea.