But when compared with the fine porcelain plates, vases, jars, and tea wares arriving from China, these earthenwares seemed somewhat crude and naïve. The potters realized that even if they could not match the exquisite Oriental porcelains, they could at least refine their own work to replicate Chinese designs, shapes, and glazes and create a new market for their own goods. They knew that the number of people drinking tea was growing and that only wealthy aristocrats and imperial families could afford very expensive Oriental teapots and bowls. And even after the secret of porcelain production had been discovered in Europe, prices remained very high. This created an opportunity for the makers of earthenwares to reach out to a growing market of less-well-off customers by manufacturing attractive tea equipage at much lower prices.