Wed/Thur 7/6-7/11 What is paramount in a teacup?


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Many of us are pretty particular about certain features in a cup...others of us are not. How fanatical are you about this..and what features reign supreme for your teacups. Please see topic and share.

SIZE is of paramount importance
13
23%
MATERIAL and TEXTURE...TOUCH
17
30%
It is all about SHAPE
11
20%
Handmade or handcrafted
3
5%
ORIGIN
0
No votes
COLOR
3
5%
Must have a WHITE interior (unless maybe it is glass)
2
4%
NAME of maker
1
2%
PRICE
4
7%
AGE
0
No votes
OTHER
2
4%
 
Total votes : 56

Wed/Thur 7/6-7/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Chip » Jul 6th, '11, 02:33

Welcome one and all to TeaDay. Please share what is in our cups today...all day. And discuss the topic of the day.

Yesterday we discussed, "How prominent will tea be in your day today?" Please continue to discuss yesterday's topic.

Today's TeaPoll and discussion topic is how we prefer our cups. Many of us are pretty particular about certain features in a cup...others of us are not. How fanatical are you about this..and what features reign supreme for your teacups. Please share.

I am truly looking forward to sharing TeaDay with everyone. Bottoms up, refill, repeat often ...
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby wyardley » Jul 6th, '11, 05:15

Interesting topic! And maybe worthy of a discussion in the teaware forum. I tend to value a lot of these factors.

I think that the texture - the way it feels in the hand and against the mouth is very important. For the most part, I like cups that are made of porcelain, and white, off-white, or at least fairly light in color on the inside surface. I have a few older cups, but I tend to use relatively modern, replaceable cups -- not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. Psychologically, I have a hard time drinking from cups that are dark colored on the inside. Even though I know it's in my head, the tea just doesn't taste right, somehow.

Size and shape are important to me also, but I don't get too crazy about trying to perfectly pair the shape of the cup with a particular type of tea... oolongs will tend to be a smaller cup, and maybe a bit more tall and narrow for lighter styles. For pu'er, I'll often use a slightly larger and wider cup. Shape can also affect the way the cup feels against your mouth - I've drank out of a few different flower shaped cups which have a very nice feeling against the lips. Size also matters in terms of the size of the brewing vessel vs. the # of people being brewed for. There's a little bit of an art of choosing the right cups, and that's one reason I have cups in various sizes.

Even when brewing for myself, I don't tend to use a cup that holds more than maybe 50 ml or so of tea.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Nenugal » Jul 6th, '11, 05:16

Most important: it can hold tea.

Second: it can handle well and support the type of tea I'm using it for (shape, size, thickness, usability).
Third: it is beautiful and well made, pleasing to the eye, to the hand and to the lips.

Now I'm drinking the rest of my shincha Yutaka Midori. I'll definitely be back for more.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Drax » Jul 6th, '11, 07:15

I think that the texture is paramount for me as well, but a combination of visual and touch -- after all, I've bought nearly all my teaware online, and I don't get to actually touch it until I've bought and received it, so its appearance plays highly in there as well. I appear to enjoy rough, craggly stuff... :D

The size probably ranks next, as I don't enjoy (or need) massive cups.

I've also found that some factors can be "false bonuses" for me -- particularly age and sometimes maker. That is, I might raise my opinion of a cup if it's particularly old, or it has a famous maker. But ultimately neither of these things can trump the first stuff I described.

For tea this morning, I'm going to randomly select an oolong from a selection of six or so that I have here at work. Who knows what it will be...??

Have a great TeaDay, everybody!
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Chip » Jul 6th, '11, 07:56

I added handmade and also the option for multiple votes.

If you voted previously, you can go back and add votes.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Chimpie » Jul 6th, '11, 09:28

Size and shape for me... Love them in any colour or material,

The other thing that is essential is that it's in one piece and not like my fav in lots of little bits awaiting a restorer to heal it!!!
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby karmaplace » Jul 6th, '11, 10:53

It definitely must have a great texture, but when I buy cups I choose by size. I'm almost always drinking tea alone, and if a cup is too small or too large compared to the pot I'm using, it is seldom taken off the shelf, regardless of how much I like it. However, when I have company, some of the cups I typically deem "too small" get some use. :D

Unfortunately, a few of the 2oz-3oz cups only see action when my boyfriend wants dipping sauce. The rest are in storage or sitting idle. Terrible, I know.

Cold-brewed sencha all day, milk tea in the afternoon and white chai as I type this now.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby artmom » Jul 6th, '11, 10:58

Whether with handle or without, the cup must fit my hand. I have severe arthritis and some handles put too much pressure on my index fingers. Handless cups need to let my fingers bend around the cup naturally in order to be comfy. Other than these concerns, the cup can be any color, shape, material, etc. :D
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby debunix » Jul 6th, '11, 11:01

First, it has to hold water, then it has to fit to the tea, and finally, it should please my eyes/fingers/lips.

When I'm out and about, the lids/cups of my thermoses make a serviceable sturdy cup, but their lack of aesthetics actually detracts a bit from the experience.

Fit to the tea means size and shape and thickness: size, not too big or too small for the typical volume of each infusion--a little larger is ok for a few larger infusions of sencha or white tea, but for a dozens of infusions of a very nice puerh, I prefer a very small cup. Especially for the young shengs that can get more bitter as they sit and cool, I prefer a shallower wider vessel so it cools quick enough to toss down the infusion. Thicker for hot-brewed teas is a must, or else a shallow shape to help dissipate the heat. But cooler brewed teas can go in thicker or thinner cups.

Shape, feel, appearance & color--have to be aesthetically pleasing. The lip of the cup needs to have areas that feel soft to my lips. The shape should feel comfortable in my hand: I've found a few cups that pleased my eye were just too big in the wrong places to feel solidly in my grasp one handed, and those do not get used much. I've got cups I like very much that are slick and mass-produced, but having an artisan's story behind it also can add something to the experience. And so far the aesthetically pleasing features include short, tall, curvy, angular, thickly glazed, thinly glazed, matte, iridescent, earthy, brilliant, sparkling, and subdued. Much as a glaze adds to the experience, I'm quite sure that one of these days an unglazed bizen-yaki will take subtlety to a new level.

Now drinking Aoi sencha from a very small, short, cylindrical cup with crawling shino glaze, unglazed patches, deep russet interior, and the very small cup also functions as an excuse to bring out the lovely yuzamushi pitcher to hold the excess volume of tea.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Proinsias » Jul 6th, '11, 11:11

Normally no handle is the common denominator but my wife just bought me this lovely little cup, complete with handle:
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby teaisme » Jul 6th, '11, 13:38

nice cup I could see some darjeeling going in there.

Usually I keep it small, slightly flared edge, shallow, smoother texture around the lips, not too dark (unless I am brewing outside then purple clay cups seem to work well), if brewing for multiple people I try to make sure the cups are just right for size of teapot so I can eliminate the faircup.
For greens cups can be both big or small, all depends.

98 8582 today from houde at work. Very nice. :mrgreen:
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Skippyandjif » Jul 6th, '11, 23:44

I'm particular about material (I like cups that aren't rough or clunky); interesting colors or designs; and cost, because I am but a poor college student. :lol: My favorite cups would have to be a Japanese cup with an ukiyo-e style woman on it; a Japanese cup that lists all of the presidents of the U.S. in order, with the years they were in office and hilariously bad portraits of some presidents; and my two strawberry mugs from the same set that I got at two different Goodwills.

I've just been drinking matcha all day today. I don't know why... Just been in a matcha mood I suppose. :mrgreen:
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby debunix » Jul 6th, '11, 23:54

Drinking some Hawaiian oolong from a Seigan Hagi teacup, part of a smoother-surfaced wheeled set, which has a slightly rough surface at the edge of the rim, perhaps to make up for the smoothness/slickness elsewhere. It's very pleasant, though this marvelous tea would exalt almost any cup to something splendid.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Chip » Jul 7th, '11, 01:24

Pretty many things have to come together for a cup to reallllly work for me, though I may settle for fewer features.

But a fave cup will feature the right size range,
Material is usually clay ... rough and glazed to give the right feel,
The right shape(s)
Handmade or handcrafted ... definitely a plus
And maker's name,
Oh, right colors

Everything else is secondary ... :roll: :lol:

Great TD, began with Kagoshima organic asamushi with the Mrs. served up in a Hagi Sendai. Next up Warashina Supreme, another organic asamushi.
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Re: Wednesday 7/6/11 What is paramount in a teacup?

Postby Chip » Jul 7th, '11, 01:47

Oh, please be sure to check out the Shincha OTTI topic today (Thursday) at 6 pm Eastern USA time. It will be here: http://www.teachat.com/viewforum.php?f=66
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