Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breakfast Cup and Saucer

Popularity of drinking coffee increased in the nineteenth century so did the need for cups with a higher volume capacity. 
The breakfast cup was born.
 The breakfast cup is approximately 3 ¼ inches in height by 4 ½ to 5 ¾ inches in diameter. 
The companion saucer measures 6 ¾ to 8 ¾ inches across. V\olume capacity for these cups are usually about 12 oz.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Trembleuse Cup and Saucer

China, Qianlong 
Period: 1750-1775
Furnishings: Serviceware
Porcelain with glaze and enamel
a) Cup: Height: 3 1/2 in. (8.89 cm)
Diameter: 3 3/8 in. (8.57 cm)
b) Saucer: Depth: 2 1/4 (5.72 cm)
Diameter: 5 1/4 in. (13.34 cm)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trembleuse Cup - Gobelet à lait

Jean-Étienne Liotard, Dziewczyna z czekoladą

What is a trembleuse cup?
A trembleuse cups is a cup that fits into an elevated rim in the center of a saucer
 They were specifically designed for patients who suffered from the trembles.
They were virtually spillproof. 
The cup has a molded handle.
 The saucer has a wide border and has a deep inset in which a cup firmly rests.
These design elements are put in place to avoid spilling of hot liquid by a trembling hands.

Du Paquier Porcelain Manufactory
Austrian, Vienna, about 1740
Hard-paste porcelain, enamel decoration, and gilding

H: 2 3/4 in. x W: 3 5/8 in. x D: 2 7/16 in.

 Designers at King Louis XV’s porcelain manufactory in on the outskirts of Paris in 1750  began producing a type of cup for drinking milk known as the milk goblet - gobelet à lait. 
They were available in two sizes.
 The cups had one or two handles and a cover to keep the milk warm. 
They were often decorated with country scenes and painted in pastel hues. 
Some were painted in “Pompadour pink,” named after Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour. She was one of the factory’s most important patrons. 
Milk goblets in the 1750s, became popular among the French nobility and the court.
They were also given away as gifts to foreign dignitaries.
In the 1700s, this double-handled cup was used to serve coffee or hot chocolate. 
This was prior to the emergence of the one handled teacup and coffee cup.
 When Europeans in the 1700s began to drink tea they drank out of the small handless bowls, following the Chinese and Japanese custom.

These Trembleuse cups were made at the Du Paquier porcelain manufactory.
They were tall, higher than they were wide, and was unstable. 
The factory developed a Trembleuse (literally "trembling") form.
The design implemented was a raised ring or basket on the saucer held 
the cup in place and prevented spillage caused by a shaky hand.
Porcelain painters often imitated engravings with black enamel decoration known as schwarzlot.
 This decoration was typical of the Du Paquier factory.

Sèvres milk goblet (Gobelet à lait) with recessed saucer, sometimes also known as a trembleuse, ca. 1759. Photo Réunion des musées nationaux / Art Resource.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cup and saucer (Trembleuse)

Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Berlin  

Date: ca. 1765–70 
Culture: German (Berlin) 
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain 
Dimensions: Cup (.133 ab): H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm.) 
Saucer (.134): Diam. 5 1/2 in. (14.0 cm.)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Orange Pekoe Tea

Orange pekoe tea is a black tea.
 It refers to their size and not to the flavor or color of the tea.
Black tea is passed through a series of sieves and graded by size.
Orange pekoe is the name given to the largest tea leaves.
The leaves are generally long and wiry and contains no tips.

The inclusion of the word “orange’ in the phrase has at least two possible origins.
It may have been related to the Dutch royal house of Orange-Nassau.
The Dutch were the first to bring tea to Europe.
 Thus the forming the Dutch East India Company long before the British had a hand in the tea trade. The word “orange” may be an attempt to associate the tea grade with royalty.

A second and possible explanation is that it may have referred to the color of high-quality tea leaves after oxidation and prior to frying.
 It might also have applied to the color of some black tea leaves after frying.

The origin of the word pekoe is also vague.
It seems to have something to do with the downy white fibers
 resembling tiny hairs on young tea leaves and buds.
However, much of the orange pekoe tea doesn’t contain the buds.
The buds are known as tips.
Orange pekoe tea that contains many buds is also designated with the word “tippy”.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pekoe, Fannings and Dust

Tea leaf grading is the process of evaluating the quality and condition of the tea leaves. 
The highest grades are referred to as orange pekoe and the lowest as fannings or dust.

Pekoe tea grades are classified into various qualities.
 Each are determined by how many of the adjacent young leaves (two, one, or none) 
were picked along with the leaf buds. 
Top or prized quality pekoe grades consist of only the leaf buds. 
These are picked using the balls of the fingertips. 
Fingernails and mechanical tools are not used to avoid bruising.
These are handpicked teas and not machine cut
The crushed leaves are  bagged teas.
 The tea is referred to as "broken" - BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe).
Orange pekoe is referred to as "OP".
  The lower grades are called fannings and dust.
These are tiny remnants created in the process of sorting and crushing.
Broken, fannings and dust teas have slightly different grades.
The term "pekoe" or occasionally orange pekoe describes
 the unopened terminal leaf bud (tips) in tea flushes.

 The phrases "a bud and a leaf" or "a bud and two leaves"
are used to describe the "leafiness" of a flush.
 This is also used interchangeably with pekoe and a leaf or pekoe and two leaves.
Pekoe tea is a fine grade of tea which includes young tea leaves and buds.
The tea once handled and brewed has a rich forest-like scent, with a hint of bitterness
and a sweet finish.

Fannings are small pieces of tea.
Fannings are left over after higher grades of tea are gathered to be sold.
These were treated as the rejects of the manufacturing process
 in the making of high quality leaf tea like the orange pekoe.
Fannings with extremely small particles are sometimes called dusts.

Fannings and dusts are considered the lowest grades of tea.
They are separated from broken-leaf teas which have larger pieces of the leaves.
However, the fannings of expensive teas can still be more expensive
 and more flavorful than whole leaves of cheaper teas.
Cha wallahs in India and the South Asian sub-continent,
and Africa prefer dust tea because it is cheap and also produces a very strong brew.

Because of the small size of the particles, a tea infuser is typically used to brew fannings.
Fannings are also typically used in most tea bags,
although some companies sell tea bags containing whole-leaf tea.
Some exporters focus primarily on broken leaf teas, fannings, and dusts.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Cupping Set

A cupping set is a professional tea taster's and tester's tool.
The professional tea taster and tester cup is made up of three-piece white porcelain set.
This brew set consist of a brew cup, a lid and a 6-ounce tasting bowl.
The set us used to compare teas side-by-side.
This is referred to in the industry as 'Cupping."
This maintains consistency and standardizes the method of testing and tasting, identifying exclusive individual characteristics and traits of various teas.
The cupping set is not just for professionals but novices may also invest in them to cultivate their discernment for tea.

Brew cup, tasting bowl, brew cup and lid.

Directions for Cupping:
  1. Add 2.8 grams (approximately 1 heaping teaspoon for most teas) of leaves into the brew cup. This will allow the tea tasters to touch and feel the leaves. Observing the appearance before brewing.
  2.  Fill the cup with freshly boiled (190 degree) water and cover
  3.  Steep for three minutes.
  4.  While holding the lid tight, set the cup horizontally on the tasting bowl to decant through the grooved teeth opposite the handle. The tea liqueur is poured in the cup. The infused leaves are taken out to be displayed and inspected before tasting.
  5. Once the water has completely drained into the bowl evaluate the tea
  6. The a tea sample with a teaspoon, sip it and then slurp it or move the liquid over the entire palate of mouth for a smooth consistent taste and to gain a maximum impression of the tea flavor.
  7. After tasting each tea, the liquid is spat out into spittoons.
  8. In special tastings, a fixed amount of milk is added to the brew to determine how well the tea would taste with milk.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to evaluate during a tea testing

Like fine wine, tea has many nuances. When evaluating tea these are some basic guidelines:

  •  A small amount of the dried leaf is also set on a piece of paper or basket behind the tea tasting set so that as to also evaluate the appearance and aroma of the tea at all stages of the brewing process including before it has been steeped.

  • Hold the empty brew cup containing only the spent tea leaves in hand. 
  • Tip the lid slightly to smell the warm spent tea leaves. 
  • Tip the lid slightly and replace it immediately.
  • Evaluate the warm aroma - this is critical in the evaluation process.
  • The aroma reveals the quality and will expose any imperfections. 

3.    TASTE
  •  Taste the tea from the tasting bowl by sipping directly from the cup or by using a spoon.
  •  Dip the used spoon in a cup of room-temperature water between tastings so as not to co-mingle flavors. 
  • Slurp the tea and swirl the tea around in mouth.
  • Pay attention to texture and flavor - initial taste, middle taste and after taste. 
  •  Note of the color of the tea.

  •  After the tea liqueur is examined, the aroma and taste test, hold the cup and lid firmly together and flip the cup over until all of the spent tea leaves fall and rest on the lid. 
  • Place the lid up-side-down on the cup, displaying the spent tea leaves. 
  • Evaluate the cooled essence - the aroma of the now room-temperature tea leaves.
  • Use your fingers to feel the texture and springiness of the leaves. 
  • Look for any visual or tactile similarities or inconsistencies.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Teacups, saucers but mugs

Moreover, all cups except mugs are made with companion saucers.
The dimensions of the following vessels are approximate.

Breakfast Cup and Saucer

 breakfast cup is approximately 3 ¼ inches in height by 4 ½ to 5 ¾ inches in diameter.
The companion saucer measures 6 ¾ to 8 ¾ inches across 


 Approximately 3 to 4 inches in height by 3 ½ inches across
 a vessel with a volume capacity of around 8 to 10 fluid ounces when filled almost to the rim
extra large mugs are the American counterpart of the European breakfast cup, a shape about 4 inches in diameter or more, a size that holds approximately 15 to 20 fluid ounces


The teacup is slightly shorter and a little wider than the coffee cup
 a shape approximately 3 ¼ to 3 ¾ inches in diameter by 2 to 2 ½ inches in height
the companion saucer measures about 5 ¼ to 5 5/8 inches across

Coffee Cup

The coffee cup is made in three sizes, namely, the regular-size coffee cup, the after-dinner coffee cup, and the demitasse cup.   
The cup features a cylinder shape, taller than wide.
 A size approximately 2 ½ inches in height by 3 inches in diameter.
The companion saucer measures around 6 to 6 ½ inches across.


Demitasse means "half cup" in French.
The cup is approximately 2 ¼ inches in height and width, slightly shorter and nar­rower than the after-dinner coffee cup.
The companion saucer measures about 4 ½ to 5 inches across

Chocolate Cup

Hot chocolate that is made from powdered cocoa, that is a thinner beverage than the original drink is usually served in a taller cup with a wider opening for cooling.

Teacup and Snack Plate Set

Monday, March 11, 2013

Coffee Cups and Saucers

The coffee cup is made in three sizes, namely, the regular-size coffee cup, the after-dinner coffee cup, and the demitasse cup. 
The regular-size coffee cup is used at informal meals, the after-dinner coffee cup at elegant informal affairs, and the demitasse cup at formal occasions.

Coffee is a beverage usually served from early morning to late evening.
The size of the cup is determined by the time of day it is served.
Size of cup is determined along with the strength of the brew. 
Coffee with a brisk taste, a light body, and a high caffeine content is served as a stimulant.
Therefore, a beverage that is served at breakfast and lunch in a large cup. 

Coffee with a strong taste, heavy body, and a low caffeine content is served as a digestive. 
This style of coffee is usually served following a multi­course meal such as after dinner. 
Coffee styles like Turkish, Cubano or Expresso are usually served is demitasse or smaller cups.

Coffee is at its peak flavor when served extremely hot. 
To conserve the heat, the cup features a cylinder shape, taller than wide, a size approximately 2 ½ inches in height by 3 inches in diameter. 
The companion saucer measures around 6 to 6 ½ inches across.


After-dinner coffee is a strong-flavored brew with a low caffeine content.
This is served to stimulate digestion at an elegant multi-course meal. 
The smallish cup measures approximately 2 3/8 inches in height by 2 ½ inches in diameter and holds approximately 3 ounces. 
The companion saucer is about 4 ¾ to 5 inches across.
 Rather than interrupt good conversation and take coffee in another room, after-dinner coffee is often served at the dinner table.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Lexicon Of The Tea Taster - Glossary Of Terms

This is the vocabulary of words used by tea experts and professional tea tasters. 
This vocabulary covers hundreds of concepts to describe the appearance, taste and aroma of tea. These are the most commonly used ones:

1. Agony of leaves
  • The rolling and unfurling of the leaves up and down in the cup at the time of steeping that is when boiling water is poured on them
2. Aroma
  • The fragrant smell of the dry tea leaves, the leaves in infusion and of the brewed tea itself. Good aromas are described as flowery or fruity. The dry leaves and the infused leaves have an aroma characteristic of the region in which the tea was grown or of the tea house that manufactured the tea.
  • The feeling of tingling and dry sensation created in the mouth of the drinker by teas rich in polyphenols
4. Bakey
  • An undesirable characteristic usually arising from drying the leaves at too high a temperature
5. Bergamot
  • The "Chinese Orange" bergamot is a citrus fruit shaped like a pear, which originated in China but is today grown in Italy, and the essence of which is used to flavor Earl Grey Tea
6. Body
  • This expresses the weight of the drink on the tongue, the strength of taste and the feeling of fullness in the mouth. It is graded from light to full.
7. Bright
  • This denotes a leaf that is bright or light in color and an expectation of a taste that is refreshing and alive and gives a feeling of astringency to the tongue. This is a desirable characteristic of choice tea.
8. Brisk
  • This describes a tea that is full and lively on the tongue and that has been properly fermented and dried.
9. Chesty
  • Tea leaves having an after taste or smell from the wooden chest in which the tea was packed
10. Colory
  • Categorization for tea that has a good color
11. Creaming Down
  • This describes tea where particles float or rise to the top of the tea in some types of black tea or blended teas. This is considered undesirable and is likely to be caused by the use of poor water.
12. Dull
  • The drink looks murky and is of a low quality
13. Firing
  • Drying the tea leaves by way of hot air or in a wok in order to quickly halt the process of fermentation
14. Flat
  • Tea of poor taste and flat and of a low quality. This indicates old tea or tea that is not fresh. It can also be caused by improper storage.
15. Flavory
  • Possesses a distinct specific taste
16. Flowery
  • A concept that describes whole tea leaves that have light colored tips
17. Fruity
  • The fruity characteristic of choice Oolong Tea
18. Gone off
  • Tea without taste or life or that has a bad smell
19. Muddy
  • This describes a dull infusion lacking in taste
20. Musty
  • The brew has a moldy taste or smell which is due to improper packing or storage.
21. Orange Pekoe
  • This term describes a large whole leaf tea
22. Pekoe
  • Derived from the Chinese word that describes the white hairs on the side of the leaves of certain teas. The term denotes small, whole leaf tea.
23. Peak
  • This is the magical moment when the body, the taste, the aroma and the astringency of the tea combine to in the mouth to create an ecstatic feeling. This mainly relates to the black teas rather than green tea or Oolong tea
24. Plucking
  • Picking of the tea.
25. Pungent
  • Strong tea with a presence
26. Self drinking
  • Tea that is good in itself and does not need to be blended or to have any additions lemon added
27. Smooth
  • Describing tea possessing a smooth pleasant taste.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RECIPE: Ochazuke

Ochazuke is a very popular traditional Japanese dish, particularly among the nomikai (group drinking and dinner party).
This dish is used to finish off a meal. 
In a more private settings, this dish is also popular either as a late night supper dish after a long day at work or a snack for sobering up after some drinks.
This dish is made by pouring hot green tea over rice with savory toppings.
  It is a very light dish therefor excellent when not feel well or when the stomach is upset with indigestion. 
 Both Japanese green tea and Umeboshi (Japanese plum) are widely used for curing the stomach problems. 
The recipe calls for tea - any tea that you may like can be substituted for the Japanese matcha.
Sometimes dashi (fish stock) is used instead of green tea. 
However, most people use ready-made ochazuke packets.
Making Ochazuke from scratch using green tea made from tea leaves, will make the the health benefits of this dish more prominent.


Serves 2

2 cups cooked rice, white or brown
4 cups hot freshly brewed green tea
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
6 ounces salmon filet
4 tablespoons bonito flakes or bottarga
2 tablespoons 
Japanese rice seasoning or combination dried seaweed and sesame seeds

Roast the salmon for 10 minutes at 375 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper until it’s cooked to medium rare. 
Pile the rice in a bowl and lay the salmon over the top. 
Sprinkled with bonito and rice seasoning. 
Combine the tea, soy, and mirin and pour over the top.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

MOVIE: お茶漬けの味 Ochazuke no aji

Movie: The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice

A 1952 Japanese film directed by Yasujirō Ozu.
Storyline: about a wealthy middle-aged couple (played by Shin Saburi and Michiyo Kogure) who have marital difficulties, and their niece who uses the couple's troubles as her excuse for not attending arranged marriage interviews.

Watch on:



Friday, March 1, 2013

Winter is Coming - Ginger Tisane

 The warmth of summer is slowly fleeing as the September nights and mornings hint at the coming of winter. Ginger tisanes are perfect to pr...