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Why Are Fancy / Expensive Dishes Called 'China'?

The term "china" is often used to refer to high-quality, elegant dinnerware, but have you ever wondered why? The origin of this term is steeped in history and intertwined with the ancient craft of porcelain making. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey that led to fine dinnerware being called "china."

The Origins of Porcelain in China

Porcelain, a ceramic material made by heating materials like kaolin at high temperatures, originated in China over 2,000 years ago during the Han and Tang Dynasties (206 BC – 907 AD) and later the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD) and Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD) where the craft truly flourished. Chinese artisans perfected the art, creating durable, beautiful, and translucent pieces that were highly prized.

The porcelain made in China was unlike any other ceramic material found elsewhere in the world. Its unique combination of strength, delicacy, and beauty made it highly sought after. This exquisite material became synonymous with the region where it was produced, leading to the association of fine dinnerware, including the later-developed bone china made using bone ash, with the name "China."

The Introduction to Europe

Porcelain was introduced to Europe through trade routes, most notably via the Silk Road and later by sea through various trading ports. European merchants and explorers who visited China were captivated by the beauty and quality of Chinese porcelain and it quickly became a highly valued commodity, often traded at significant prices.

The term "china" began to be used by Europeans to describe these fine porcelain pieces from the East. The word itself became synonymous with elegance and high quality, reflecting the admiration and high regard for Chinese craftsmanship.

European Attempts at Replication

For centuries, Europeans tried to replicate the exquisite Chinese porcelain but struggled to understand the same materials and techniques used. It wasn’t until the early 18th century that European manufacturers, particularly in Germany and later in England, discovered the secrets of recreating china dishes through porcelain production. Factories like Meissen in Germany and Wedgwood in England began producing their own high-quality porcelain, often referred to as "china" due to its origins.

The Legacy of the Name

Today, the term "china" is universally recognized as referring to fine, high-quality dinnerware, regardless of its actual place of manufacture. The legacy of traditional China lives on in the name and serves as a testament to the profound impact Chinese porcelain had on the world. It reflects not only the geographic origin but also the exceptional quality and artistic achievement that Chinese artisans brought to the craft of porcelain making.

Fine China from Chinese Porcelain

The term "china" used to describe fancy and expensive dishes has its roots in the historical and cultural significance of Chinese porcelain. This exquisite material, perfected over centuries in China, captivated the world with its beauty and quality, leading to its association with fine dinnerware.

While, in the modern age, we may more commonly use mass produced serving bowls to display our potato chips at a party, an elevated chef's culinary presentation often still relies on the elegance of Chinese porcelain. Today, when we set the table with our best "china," we continue to honor a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship and excellence that began thousands of years ago in the kilns of ancient China.

Why Choose HF Coors Ceramic Tableware Over China?

If you're looking for an elevated dining experience that has stood the test of time, consider handmade ceramics. HF Coors ceramics provide a perfect blend of durability and elegance, making them ideal for both everyday use and special occasions. Unlike fine china, which can be fragile and high-maintenance, HF Coors ceramics are designed to be robust and dishwasher-safe, offering convenience without compromising on style.

Key Features:

Two-Year Chipping Guarantee

Rest assured with our comprehensive Chipping Guarantee, offering peace of mind for your investment.

Durable Vitrified Ceramic

Crafted for longevity, our dinnerware promises lasting enjoyment, perfect for everyday use and special occasions alike.

Lead-Free and Safe

Enjoy meals confidently with our entirely lead-free design, prioritizing the safety and well-being of your family.

Non-Porous and Fresh

Our ceramic maintains freshness without absorbing moisture or odors, keeping your tableware looking and smelling pristine.

Versatile and Kitchen-Friendly

From oven to dishwasher, our dinnerware adapts effortlessly to your kitchen routines, offering convenience without sacrificing style.


Store leftovers securely without worrying about cracks or stains, ensuring your meals stay fresh and delicious for later enjoyment.

HF Coors is proudly made in the USA, ensuring high-quality craftsmanship and supporting local manufacturing. If you're in the market for a beautiful, practical, and resilient alternative to fine china, HF Coors ceramic tableware is an excellent choice that marries tradition with modern functionality. Visit hfcoors.com, call 520-903-1010, or e-mail Info@HFCoors.com to explore our collections.