Friday, November 21, 2014

The Thirsty Games

Welcome to the first edition of The Thirsty Games!

Yes, this contest pits teacup against teacup.  The rules are simple - no violence and no breaking of teacups.  In fact, no contact whatsoever among teacups.  Teacups will not be judged by their physical appearance, size or color but they will be assessed by the tea. This simply meant that tea will be poured into the teacups and the tea will be judged cup by cup.  Yes, expert tea drinkers worldwide had attested that the material of a teacup can affect the taste and aroma of the tea.  I decide to take out a few of my teacups and see whether these teacups affect the tea or not. 

I selected 4 cups for the Thirsty Games.  I chose a 90s rice pattern porcelain cup (aka rice), a Jian or Temmoko(Japan) rabbit hair cup (aka rabbit), an old Japanese Bizen cup, made by Hisamoto (aka Bizen) and a Ru Yao crackled glazed cup (aka crack).

I had also chose 3 teas to be tested on the teacups.  One ripe and raw pu erh as well as an heavy roasted oolong.  I will use the 3rd infusion from each tea and pour out that infusion into the 4 cups.

I observed that rice and crack teacups held heat best.  The tea felt warmer in these two teacups while the tea in bizen and rabbit was cooler.  Perhaps this was due to the wider mouths of bizen and rabbit teacups.  However, I liked the wider mouths as bizen and rabbit teacups seem 'wrap or surround' my nose when I drink tea from these cups and the aroma seem to be more pronounced from these two teacups.   

How about the taste of the tea in the teacups.  I am not certain but there are very subtle differences.  Ripe pu erh tea was outstanding in bizen, while raw tasted subdued in crack.  Oolong was nice in rice and rabbit.  I cannot be 100% certain and I would have to taste tea from these teacups on more occasions.  

Overall, the Thirsty Games was a fun exercise.  It makes my tea session more experimental and interesting.  Till the next Thirsty Games.  May the teacups be forever increasing in your collection!

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