Different kind of sake cups
You’ve bought your bottle of sake/nihonshu but you realized that you don’t have any sake cups, those cups were you probably enjoyed in a Japanese restaurants. What should I do? What kind of glass should I enjoy my sake with? Are there different ways to enjoy sake?
From traditional to modern cups, sake is most typically enjoyed in sakazuki, guinomi, ochoko, masu or even in a wine glass!
Let’s check them out!
SaKAZUKI sake cups
Sake served in Sakazuki cup during a Japanese traditional ceremony
Sakazuki is a type of traditional Japanese sake cup that has been used for centuries in Japan. The term “sakazuki” is derived from the words “saka,” which means “sake,” and “zuki,” which means “vessel” or “cup.”
Sakazuki cups are typically small, flat vessels that are used for drinking sake during special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. They are often made from porcelain or lacquer, and can be decorated with various designs, including traditional Japanese patterns and motifs.
One of the unique aspects of the sakazuki cup is its size and shape. Unlike other types of cups or glasses, sakazuki cups are relatively small and shallow, with a wide opening. This design allows the sake to be poured and consumed quickly, which is important in Japanese culture, where social drinking is a common practice.
In addition to its practical use, the sakazuki cup also has cultural and symbolic significance in Japan. It is often used in traditional tea ceremonies and other formal events, and is considered a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and respect.
Overall, the sakazuki cup is a beloved part of Japanese culture and is often associated with warmth, hospitality, and celebration.
GUINOMI SAKE CUPS
Guinomi glasses and recipient
Guinomi is another type of traditional Japanese sake cup that is commonly used for drinking sake. Unlike the Sakazuki cup, Guinomi cups are smaller and more cylindrical in shape, and they typically have a narrower opening at the top.
Guinomi cups are often made from ceramics, although they can also be made from glass or lacquerware. They are usually designed to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand, and their smaller size and narrower opening make them ideal for sipping sake slowly and savoring its aroma and flavor.
Like Sakazuki cups, Guinomi cups can be decorated with various designs and patterns, and they are often given as gifts or souvenirs to mark special occasions. Some Guinomi cups are also prized as works of art, with intricate designs and hand-painted details that showcase the skill of the artist who created them.
In Japan, Guinomi cups are often used in informal settings, such as izakayas (Japanese-style pubs), where they are used to drink sake with friends and colleagues. They can also be used in more formal settings, such as tea ceremonies or formal dinners, where they are used to serve and drink sake in a more elegant and refined manner.
Overall, the Guinomi cup is a versatile and elegant vessel for enjoying the unique flavors and aromas of Japanese sake.
OCHOKO sake cups
Ochoko is another type of traditional Japanese sake cup that is commonly used for drinking sake. Ochoko cups are similar to Guinomi cups in size and shape, but they have a wider opening at the top and are typically more cylindrical in shape.
Ochoko cups are also made from ceramics, glass, or lacquerware, and they are often decorated with various designs and patterns. They are usually smaller than Sakazuki cups, making them ideal for serving sake in smaller quantities.
In Japan, Ochoko cups are commonly used in informal settings, such as izakayas or home parties, where they are used to drink sake with friends and family. They are also used in more formal settings, such as tea ceremonies and formal dinners, where they are used to serve and drink sake in a more refined manner.
One of the unique aspects of Ochoko cups is that they are often paired with a Tokkuri, which is a type of sake bottle used for pouring sake into the cups. The Tokkuri is typically made from ceramic, and it has a narrow neck and spout that make it easy to pour sake into the Ochoko cups without spilling.
Overall, the Ochoko cup is a versatile and functional vessel for enjoying the unique flavors and aromas of Japanese sake. Its cylindrical shape and wider opening make it ideal for sipping sake slowly and savoring its subtle nuances.
MASU sake cups
Masu Sake Cup
A masu sake cup is a traditional Japanese drinking vessel that has been used for centuries to serve and drink sake. It is made from a small wooden box that is typically made from hinoki, a type of Japanese cypress wood that is prized for its durability and natural resistance to water and rot.
Masu cups are typically square in shape, with a capacity of around 180 ml (6 oz) of liquid. They are often decorated with various designs and patterns, such as the family crest or logo of a particular brewery or restaurant. In some cases, Masu cups may also be adorned with traditional Japanese motifs, such as cherry blossoms or waves.
Masu cups are traditionally used in a variety of settings, such as Japanese festivals, weddings, and tea ceremonies. They are often used for toasting and sharing sake with friends and family, and are also commonly used in Japanese bars and restaurants. One unique aspect of Masu cups is that they can be used as a measuring device, as the volume of the cup is precisely measured to ensure that the correct amount of sake is poured for each serving.
Wine Sake Cup
While traditional sake cups like the ochoko, guinomi, and masu cups are commonly used to drink sake in Japan, it is becoming increasingly popular to serve and drink sake in wine glasses. There are a few reasons for this trend.
Firstly, drinking sake from a wine glass can enhance the aroma and flavor of the sake. The shape of a wine glass allows the sake to open up and release its aromas, which can help to enhance the drinking experience. Additionally, the wider opening of a wine glass allows for a fuller taste experience, as the sake can more easily come into contact with the taste buds on the tongue.
Another reason that sake is being served in wine glasses is the aesthetic appeal. Wine glasses are often seen as elegant and sophisticated, and serving sake in a wine glass can help elevate the presentation of the beverage.
It’s worth noting, however, that not all sake is suited for drinking in a wine glass. While it can work well for some types of sake, such as premium, high-end sake that has a complex flavor profile, it may not work as well for simpler, lighter sake varieties. Ultimately, the choice of vessel depends on personal preference and the specific characteristics of the sake being served.
In conclusion, drinking sake in a traditional sake cup like the ochoko, guinomi, or masu cup is a cultural experience that has been enjoyed for centuries in Japan. The shape, size, and material of each type of sake cup can influence the drinking experience, with some cups being better suited for certain types of sake than others. Drinking from a sake cup can enhance the aroma and flavor of the sake, and can also add to the cultural and aesthetic appeal of the experience. However, it’s important to remember that drinking sake, like any alcoholic beverage, should be enjoyed responsibly and in moderation, and that everyone’s experience with sake may be different based on individual preferences and tastes. Kanpai!