The Gaiwan has been around for over 500 years, dating back to the middle of the Ming Dynasty in China. The Gaiwan is a very simple, yet versatile way to brew tea and came about during the peak of their pottery production.
The gaiwan consists of three pieces; a saucer that holds the cup, a small cup with a flared lip, and a lid for the cup.
How to Use
Step 1: Rinse the gaiwan with hot water. This cleans any dust from the vessel as well as heats up the material in preparation for steeping.
Step 2: Pour dry tea leaves into the bowl. Typically, this would be 5-10g of loose leaf tea. The desire is to leave enough space for leaves to expand in the cup.
Step 3: Pour hot water into the vessel and hold the entire vessel in the palm of one hand, steadying the cup with your thumb. Use your fingers on the other hand to tilt the lid of the gaiwan using its knob. The lid should be tilted slightly as to hold back the leaves but allow the liquid to pour. Use the appropriate steeping temperature and steep for the recommended length of time.
Step 4: Remove the lid and savor the aroma of the tea leaves. Smelling the leaves helps activate the palate in preparation for enjoying the tasting of the tea.
Step 5: Enjoy what you've created!
Refill the cup to resteep as desired. Keep in mind the number of resteeps resulting in a flavorful cup will depend on which type of tea you're using.