I'm pretty sure the most important equipment for gongfu cha is quality tea and a proper teapot, but I've seen tall, narrow teacups, & shallower ones that look more like saucers, and bowl-shaped ones. I wonder what the difference is, and if it matters a whole lot which is used for which tea. Example: would it be better to use a wide shallow one for something like Silver Needle, which might make it easier to see the needles, or what?
You are right. Tea cups in Gong Fu Cha is less important compare with quality of tea, teapot, and making skill (this is the most important). However, it is still very important in Gong Fu Cha. Just think of wine cup. Will wine drinkers use mug to drink their good and vintage wine? Never! They use special cups with different shapes for different wine. It is the same as tea. We use narrow and tall cups for smelling, because it can concentric the fragrance. Traditionally, people like to make strong Oolong Tea, small cups would be good to use for not drinking too much tea. At the old time, workers/Farmers love to drink Pu-Erh Tea. And they usually use boiling water to make it. Using bigger bowl-shaped cups can cool down the temperature of water faster and they can drink more tea to recover the water they loose from body by heard working. In addition, we have winter cup and summer cup for getting more heat or getting less heat to our body.
“Wide shallow one for something like Silver Needle” I think you mean the glass tea cup, right? Yes! The main reason people to use wide, tall glass tea cup for white tea and green tea is because they can see how the leaves open up and how they go up and down in the cup
& also shallower cups that look more like saucers. So all of them are small, but different shapes are used for different teas, right? The tall narrow one would concentrate the aroma more than the other ones.
The tall cup is a sniffer cup. It's not necessarily essential. It's used to smell the tea from the first rinse and get the sense of the aroma. I quickly found a video that shows it. You'll see them using it around the 4:44 mark.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nVPdy3fBWk&feature=related
Post by Eric (Student) on May 3, 2010 16:08:48 GMT -8
*I'm one of Daniel's students. Daniel has left on his annual tea buying trip to China, so I will try to fill in for him**
The shape of the cup is not so much related to a tea's "strength" as its temperature. Since Oolongs are made with 90-97C / 194-206F water, this is lower than black or Pu-Erh teas made with near boiling water, which one would want to cool down before drinking. The wide shape helps this. So one wouldn't want to cool Oolongs or green teas lower than the optimum temperature so the cups are a less shallow design which also holds the aroma. A bowl or saucer shape will cool the tea faster (which was important to the farmers as Daniel mentioned above).
Another aspect to consider is the thickness of the material of the teacup. Thicker material will hold heat so it's a matter of trial and error and personal preference. Some drinkers prefer unglazed clay teacups for their black and Pu-Erh teas as this provides another level of smoothing the taste and the cups build up their own oils and contribute to the taste just as a Yixing teapot does. The combination of thick clay and shallow shape gives the right temperature for drinking these.
Daniel teaches that the smelling cups (used at the first brew) offer much more than "getting a sense of the aroma" . They reveal not only the initial aroma but the hidden deeper essence as the aromatic compounds begin to oxidize - just as these same compounds will dissolve with subsequent brews when making Gong Fu Cha. So we will check the smelling cups every few minutes, before we even drink the tea. Good quality teas will change over many minutes whereas low quality teas expire in just a few, so this also tells us about the quality of tea even before drinking it. If we detect, say a floral note, near the end of the smelling tests, we know that this tea will likely reveal this same taste on or near the last brews.
We utilize restricted and tall glasses for inhaling, in light of the fact that it can concentric the scent. Customarily, individuals like to make solid Oolong Tea, little measures would respect use for not drinking an excessive amount of tea. At the old fashioned, specialists/Farmers affection to drink Pu-Erh Tea. Furthermore they typically utilize bubbling water to make it. Utilizing greater dish formed mugs can chill off the temperature of water quicker and they can drink more tea to recoup the water they detached from body by heard working