Sipping tea from a delicate porcelain cup is not just an activity for Chinese and Japanese royalty. It's a centuries-old tradition that continues to this day in many cultures.
The art of drinking tea in Japan
In Japan, the art of drinking tea has been perfected with the use of intricately designed cups called chawan, which are made from different materials depending on what kind of tea they will be used for. The shape and size changes depending on whether you want your drink to be hot or cold.
Enjoyment of drinking tea may be enhanced by using different teapots but also different tea cups depending on the type of tea. For example, small cups are used for the highest grades of tea (gyokuro). On the other hand, Sencha cups are usually small and shallow. Tall cups are commonly used for hojicha. In summer, cold tea is often served in glass cups.
In Japan, many people prefer drinking tea from cups that are white inside so you can enjoy the color of your beverage.
These cups can also vary in height and depth because different teas require different brewing times and water temperatures. Japanese tea cups or tea bowls are not chosen randomly. Along with the teapot, these objects are part of the tea ceremony’s ritual and remain a personal object.
There is a proper way to handle and to carry the cup. Tea in Japan is about the pleasure of drinking it (obviously) but also the pleasure to share a pleasant moment.
The three different kind of tea cups you will find in Japan
1- Yunomi for everyday tea drinking
In Japan, Japanese tea cups of all sizes can be found, adapting to the habits of each, in clay, porcelain or ceramic, or glass, but never cast iron.
The Japanese term for tea cups is "yunomi" which means "a utensil for drinking hot water".
These are quite small (compared with western standards) , handle-less and cylindrical in shape.
2- Matcha bowls for tea ceremony
The cups used for the Japanese tea ceremony are not cups! They are bowls you can brew matcha directly in with a traditional bamboo whisk called chasen.
3- Gyokuro cups designed to enhance the aroma of high grade sencha
Frequently asked questions:
1- Why do Japanese cups not have handles?
The different types of cups for tea vary by culture. In Asia, there is no handle for only one good reason: When the cup is too hot to hold, it means that your tea is too hot to drink.
Traditionally, tea cups don’t have any handles, so never fill to the top to avoid burning yourself.
2- Why are Japanese cups so small?
Green tea can harm your stomach if you drink too much too fast. A small cup let you drink slowly without any stomach pain. Also, for gyokuro (high grade tea) you are supposed to enjoy it by drinking slowly.
3- How much ounces is a Japanese tea cups
The most popular size for tea cups in Japan can range from 1 to 4 oz ( about 30 - 120 ml).
4- Why is matcha drink from a bowl?
The matcha bowl is first of all the most important utensil of the tea ceremony. It allows two things
- to be able to mix the matcha perfectly thanks to the traditional whisk
- to drink and smell at the same time
5- What is a "chawan"
The chawan is a small bowl-like vessel that can be used every day in Japan.The chawan is used by Japanese people every day.
In our tea cups collection, we offer the opportunity to make a nice gift for every tea lover with our selection of gift sets. Also the Hasami tea cups will be perfect for every porcelain lovers! Our Japanese online store is always trying to find the best handcrafted teaware for everybody in the world.