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I'm new to your site but reading Jim Fussel's question about the colour of the mug affecting the quality of the tea reminded me of an experiment I did quite some time ago, before I had a life, to investigate this very phenomenon.
Being a true scientist, I didn't keep any notes so what follows is from memory. Basically I reasoned that water temperature is crucial to the proper brewing of tea so if the colour of the mug had an effect on the water temperature then this might be a possible explanation for the "dark mug
makes bad tea" phenomenon. As I'm sure we all know from school physics, a dark body (or mug) will radiate heat better than a light coloured mug (the so-called 'black body radiation'). So when we pour boiling water into a mug, it will cool down faster if that mug is darkly coloured. To prove this I pointed an infra-red thermometer at the outside of a white mug and a black mug while I brewed some tea. After a regulation brewing period the thermometer measured that much more heat was being given off by the black mug. Investigation of the water temperature inside the mug revealed that the water in the black mug was about 3 degrees cooler than the water in the white mug. So my theory was correct - the black mug allowed the water to cool down faster. Whether this actually makes any difference to the quality of the tea I have no idea, but it sure sounds plausible. As I recall, further investigation was hampered by the fact that I now had two mugs of tea in front of me and therefore it was necessary to go and have two sit downs, by which time the urge for discovery had left me.