zondag 7 oktober 2012

On preheating cups

Since the day I've watched my first gong fu session till the day of today I've always heard: preheating your cups is essential! In the beginning I used to do so;I would follow all of the steps and wouldn't dare to skip one. After lots and lots of reading about tea there was this article about a Chinese man who told an eager tea drinker he patiently had to wait for 5 minutes before drinking his cup of tea - at my next tea session I patiently waited 5 minutes as well.What I noticed was that it became easier to distinguish different notes and that the tastes were better detectable, but bitter notes also seemed to appear more on the 'front taste line'. Since that moment I stopped preheating my cups except for my sniffing cups. Perhaps some people prefer to drink their tea extremely hot- for me it greatly reduces my taste experience. Ofcourse I do rinse my cups before use, as well as I preheat my brewing vessel. When tea tasting and taking notes I always put 1 bigger cup aside to let it cool down to about 40°C. It can really give you tea a different character you haven't experienced before. It would be nice to have some opinions on this - perhaps delicate- subject.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. I agree; when drinking e.g. oolong I only mind consistently preheating the sniffing cups. However, some (young) sheng pu-erh can become quite unpleasantly bitter if left to cool. Hence, I most often preheat the sipping cups as well for those.

    1. I think the bitterness has more to do with the brewing technique than the tea itself. I do agree that young sheng is more prone to develop bitter notes when they cool down. But I've experienced with the same tea that some steeps get bitter when cold while others stay sweet. It's a fascinating point for discussion!