Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Testing Out The Colors

While practising our brewing, we go back-to-basics, and condense all that we know into a single cup of tea. These Yixing clay cups are made from the same base material which occurs naturally in purple (Zisha), red and yellow. Mixing in magnesium oxide results in the blue; chrome oxide leans it green, and cobalt oxide gives you black; iron oxide will give you pink hues, etc.

Personally, I don't dictate specific cups to complement specific teas. Doesn't matter. I prefer my cups to sit in a neutral material that's either ceramic or porcelain. (No, ceramic is not porcelain, and porcelain is a specific sub-set of ceramics.) I like unglazed porcelain. Thick and dense ceramics are fine too. Love that raw feel.

Last weekend, the (tea) partner and I pitted our tastebuds against our supposed knowledge of how a familiar tea is supposed to taste, in our minds, against the cups. Away from our different tea teachers and outside of a rigid classroom with many subjective opinions, cocooned at home, we sought a dependable experiment of sorts. Sometimes, we really don't want differing opinions to cloud the results of the experiment. The flavor profiles shifted quite significantly in each cup, and varied even from brew to brew. We tried out three steeps of one batch of tea leaves and called it a day. Too much tea from earlier already.

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