Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Interior colors

Hakeme Daisen Yunomi with Sencha

It is often said that tea is best presented in a cup with a white Interior. Consider the picture above, in which the Yunomi holds green tea, but the color does not seem to stand out, and almost looks a bit of a repulsive brownish yellow color of stale green tea.

I would like to outline why I both accept and deny the concept that tea should only be presented in a cup with a white interior and talk about when it is okay to ignore that "rule."

The pro's of a White interior:

  1. You have a well defined base color of which you can use to reference the actual color of the tea.
  2. Using that base color you can see the density in the color of the tea, i.e. how the color changes close to the edge where the tea is thinner.
  3. Easy to know if it is clean or dirty.

But white is also boring, so while it should be viewed as a golden standard for a teacup for any sort of tea. Though different colored interiors can do wonders for different types of teas. For example consider how wonderful this tea looks simply because it is held in a cup with a blue interior:

A stuck drip of tea

So while blue interiors do wonders for green teas, making their slightly more natural yellow colors come across as bright vibrant green. It seems darker colored teas look good in a wider variety of cups with interior colors. That is because they tend to be much more opaque and less likely to have the interior color create an off appearance with the color of the tea.