I rinse/preheat my tetsubin, yixing pot, gaiwans, kyusuus, chawans, and cups. I do this because I have my teaware sitting on exposed shelves, so this cleans out any dust plus preheats the vessels.
I don’t preheat my IngenuiTEA or my English style teapots because… well… I just don’t feel like it. Heh…
I preheat my teapots — I put an 1/2 inch to an inch of water in the teapots and microwave it until the water within boils. Then I prepare tea as usual in the teapot with freshly boiled water, tea of choice and an infuser. Works well. I hadn’t thought to preheat my mugs or pretty teacups/saucers though I may try it now and see if the cup/mug retains the heat better.
I preheat my teapot or gaiwan for all oolong and puerh, and use hottest possible water to brew them. I do preheating for white tea most of the time. I don’t do preheating for black, green or yellow tea but don’t think it harms either.
Thanks Gingko but I was talking more about drinking vessles… unless do you drink right from your gaiwan?
Oh I missed that part. When I preheat the teapot or gaiwan, I preheat the drinking cup too. But it’s more habitual and I think heating drinking cup is probably less important than heating the teapot.
I work as a barista, and if a customer asks for a mug (usually we just give paper cups), I always preheat it by filling it with hot water first. I’ve never done it for myself, though, so I couldn’t say I notice a difference. :P I usually just use my thermos all the time, ‘cuz it has a lid to keep it warm. But based on others’ experiences, if I use a mug for myself, I plan on warming it first. :)
I’ve actually been doing the opposite lately, for black tea at least, mostly because I’m impatient: I do preheat the pot with a little boiling water, or by holding it over the kettle (anyone else try this? To warm the pot with the steam?), but my mug I’ll stick in the freezer for the 3-5 minutes the tea is steeping. Strain the black tea into the chilled mug, and it’s just about cool enough to drink immediately.
I preheat my teapots, as well as my big thermal carafe and my smaller thermos that I use on weekday mornings. However, I don’t preheat my French press or the Pyrex measuring cups I use for brewing. (Yes, I make my tea in lots of different ways!)