This next part in my Why teacups are special series is all about tea!
And before I start sharing my thoughts on the subject I need to stress that these are my personal preferences and although I have high standards for the tea that I prepare for myself on a daily basis I’m not a tea snob! I will very happily drink teabag tea in thick-rimmed coffee mugs when I’m out and about.
Okay, the disclaimer is now out of the way so for the rest of the article I’m potentially going to be making some outrageously dogmatic statements!
I firmly believe that tea (and I’m referring to loose-leaf tea at this point) tastes better in thin-rimmed fine china teacups! There are scientific reasons – the china is smoother and a thinner rim means the tea gets to the tongue quickly increasing the taste. Fine china retains the heat longer. And… the more elegant the drinking vessel the better the taste!
For years (ever since I was about 15 years old) I’ve drunk tea out of thin-rimmed tall fine china mugs such as this Ashdene one. I would use this type of mug and a small teapot at work too (in the days when I worked full-time as an architect)! And I acutally found one of my old work china mugs (The Maxwell and William one).
But since 2009 (as mentioned in my previous article on Personal Memories) I started using a teacup and saucer at home. This leads me to my second statement…
Tea tastes better in smaller vessels. A typical teacup has a capacity of 200-250 mL (6-8oz) and I think that the second cup which I pour from my teapot tastes better than the second half of a tall mug (even if it’s fine china!)
This brings up the question of teapots – so this little diagram explains the perfect arrangement of a teapot so that the strength of the tea remains consistent for multiple teacups (assuming that I’m just making the pot for myself).
Of course, a mug is more convenient, so if you are having a cup of tea (or coffee) while doing something else as well, a mug is a good option… but this thought is leading to the topic I will discuss next week.
Two other personal preferences on this topic:
- I’m less fussy about herbal tea and can drink it out of fine china, china mugs, or thick-rimmed coffee cups/mugs.
- I love drinking coffee out of thick-rimmed cups or mugs. My preference is to drink coffee out of a cup and saucer and I have a selection of earthy/textured cups and saucers that make up my ‘coffee cup collection’. And interestingly I don’t really like drinking coffee out of fine china.
Final thoughts …
Yes, this article is a little geeky – but I do love a good cuppa! Although I do believe that tea tastes better in fine china and use my teacups as much as possible in my daily life, if I’m offered a hot beverage in any kind of vessel I will drink it!
So do you have any tea or coffee preferences? Let me know in the comments below.
(If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)
And one final-final thought – you don’t have to be a tea (or a coffee drinker) to do my Teacups course. 🙂
The Teacups Course is now open for enrollment – and available as a self-paced course!