Which is my favorite piece of tea ware? This is hard to select. But in this season, it's only fair to honor my glass mug. It's one of my favorite vessels for green tea, and is being used the most frequently in early spring!
In Chinese green tea drinking, watching "tea dance", the floating green leaves, is a big part. Therefore, glasses are very often used in green tea brewing. My ideal type of glasses are of medium thickness, plain and clear. Later on, I found I liked glass mugs even more. The thickness of glass is just right, and the handle makes it very convenient.
My first glass mug was bought in a Price Chopper (a grocery store), made in Turkey, $1 for three of them, the cheapest drinking ware I had ever seen! But I bought only one. Before I realized how much I loved it, it disappeared from the store and was never sold again! Then, I got my second glass mug on the street, right on the curb, in a "free" box of yard sale stuff. It was dusted, but after being cleaned, it looked just like new. When I treat friends with green tea, I use the glass mugs most of the time. Before I got more of them, I would also use some liquor glasses. But in my eyes, no other glasses look or feel as "right" as those mugs. I must have said too many times how much I loved those mugs and how hard to get more of them. One day, a girlfriend gave me a big cardboard box, with SIX new glass mugs! She got them on the street too, in another "free" box of yard sale stuff! The moment she saw them, she recognized they are "Gingko's glass mugs"! Oh my dear friends! Now for my green tea party, I have a glass mug for EVERYBODY!
The glass mug makes green tea brewing very easy! I've posted Long Jing brewing with a glass mug here.
And I always brew my favorite green tea, Huang Shan Mao Feng in such a mug. The tea leaves would all "stand up" below water surface and on the glass bottom, like little trees! Brewing most green teas in a mug is as easy as "throw leaves (probably 2.5-3g) in mug - wait for 2 minutes (or when leaves sink) - drink!" And you can refill the mug whenever you fill like to, based on your taste on the strength of tea.
The yellow tea (a Meng Ding Xue Ya in the photo) looks like spring rain in the mug.
Silver needle always looks gorgeous in a glass mug.
Even black tea pretty much stay put in a mug.
It also works well for a CTC black tea in a tea infuser.
Even for oolong, which I mostly brew with Gongfu style, a glass mug sometimes works fine. Here is my project of experimenting mug brewing of oolong tea.
And next week, I will introduce a "fusion" style tea brewing with a mug. I call it Ban Nan Sunset. (- though I know it's a cheesy name!)
I still don't know which store carries these mugs. But if you would like one, look around the street corners and yard sale piles!