About Sake and Shochu cups (Beauty and types of drinking vessel)
The true flavor of sake is best enjoyed when it is poured into every sake cup from a flask designed for storing it such as barrel, cask, pot and bottle. You can’t enjoy the true flavor of sake when you drink it straight from the bottle.
Sake tastes best when you drink it from your own sake cup.
In tasting sake, selecting a cup is prone to be ignored.
An umber drinking glass or kiki-choko, a small sake cup, is usually used for sake tasting. While these cups are convenient for comparing aroma or flavor between different kinds of sake under controlled condition, they are not designed to enhance the flavor and enjoyment of drinking sake.
Where on the tongue you taste sake determines whether you will taste sweetness, tartness, pungency, bitterness, or astringency. For this reason, the shape and size of a sake cup determine where your particular lips and the tongue meet the sake. The same sake will taste slightly different when sipped from cups of different design and size.
Like wine, sake tastes best in cups designed especially for it. Just as Bordeaux and Bourgogne wines call for different glasses, so drinking sake from a sake cup that brings out the true flavor and taste of sake enhances the experience.
Both drinking sake from sake cup that brings out the true flavor and taste of sake, and eating appetizer that goes well with sake enhance the deliciousness of sake. It is true for wine or shochu.
There are four variety of sake cup:
The bowl-shaped sake cup with a narrow mouth and relatively thick rim.
This cup emphasizes the sweetness of sake.
When you drink sake from this cup, sake trickles gently down to the tip of your tongue, where sweetness is most strongly tasted. If you prefer to experience the true sweetness of sake, choose this cup.
The bowl-shaped sake cup with a thin and relatively wide mouth rim.
This cup blends the various flavors of sake. When you drink from this cup, sake spreads over all your tongue and you can taste its complete flavor.
Especially when you drink sake from the cup with a stem such as Bajo-hai and Takatsuki, or goblet, you can comfortably bring your sake cup to your mouth and enjoy the deliciousness of sake even more because sake naturally spreads over all your tongue.
The bucket-shaped sake cup.
This cup emphasize the tartness of sake. When you drink sake from this cup, sake flows to the center of your tongue.
Tartness can be sensed on both sides and the center of the tongue, so when you drink sake from this sake cup, sake’s tartness is enhanced.
The thin bowl-shaped sake cup with a relatively wide mouth and outward-curving rim.
The shape of this cup naturally brings out the various flavors of sake. When you drink sake from this cup, sake slowly spreads out all over your tongue.
All the flavors of sake ― sweetness, tartness, pungency, bitterness, and astringency ― can be sensed as sake spreads over your tongue.
This cup has both positive and negative aspects, as it reveals not only the charm but also the flaw of sake.
Since the flavor of sake is so greatly affected by design of the cup in which it is served, every type of sake has a cup most suited to its taste.
There are many restaurants that serve foods that go well with sake, likewise, there are many restaurants that serve sake that goes well with foods.
However, it is natural that every person has their own preference in terms of foods as well as sake.
There are many ways to taste and enjoy sake. By becoming aware of characteristics of sake and the cups in which it is served, you will be able to choose the types of sake and the variety of cup that will be able to choose the type of sake and variety of cup that will most enhance your enjoyment of sake.