Few days ago, I received a beautifully glazed Japanese yunomi in the mail by mistake as I had originally set my mind on regular porcelain ware. It was a rustic work of art. I have very few handmade ceramic pieces in my collection and this was the perfect addition so I realised on hindsight.
Being unfamiliar with ceramic pieces, I decided to compare the influence of tea cup materials on brewed tea - Bi luo chun green tea brewed open style in an old blue and white bowl. Doing so will allow the tea to cool down faster on a hot summer day.
Next, I spooned equal amounts of tea from the bowl into individual cups and went about tasting. Before the infusion was ready, I already did a pre trial on the cups using boiled water and yes, I did notice slight differences in the liquid texture on my palates. Water from the ceramic piece felt softer and gentler on my throat.
A reader suggested that I could switch to glass - a neutral material that potentially does away with any performance irregularities. Personally, I enjoy the process of collecting intriguing data. This way, I may be able to choose to drink tea out of glazed ceramic when my craving calls for a balanced cup of tea or pick a porcelain yunomi on a Monday morning so the fragrances can provide for an invigorating wake up call. There is always room for discoveries and fine-tuning one's brewing techniques along the way.
What are your experiences so far? Do you have a preference for certain materials or a particular dislike for others?