Why should you upgrade
to using gaiwan?
Besides looking classy and skilful.
Agreed by many loose leaf tea fans, gaiwan is the best when it comes to brewing. Besides looking classy and skillful, what other benefits are there for switching to this beautiful vessel that has over one thousand years of history?
The literal translation for “gaiwan” is “covered bowl” in Chinese. It includes a porcelain bowl, a lid, and a saucer. It doesn’t have a handle so people tend to burn their fingers without knowing the right way to use it. And that seems to be the only downside of gaiwan.
Yet, there are more advantages that come from the shape of gaiwan.
1. It allows versatile infusion styles.
The gaiwan’s wide opening provides more possible ways to infuse hot water—
you can circle the stream around the surface of the tea leaf for the purpose of evenly heating,
or down the stream along the side of the bowl for a gentle infusion when you are dealing with delicate tea leaf;
or a high and fast infusion to best bring out the tea leaf’s aroma.
2. It provides proper leg room for tea leaf.
In order to explore the complete and rich flavor of tea, we move from tea bags of crumbled tea to loose leaf, so of course we shouldn’t stuff the tea leaf into a tiny infuser.
A 100ml gaiwan offers the perfect space for up to 7 grams of any tea leaves to be fully expended; its round shape and glazed surface also encourages the tea leaf to roll which helps to yield for great taste.
3. It gives you total control.
The brew and pour time is most controllable with a gaiwan over any other brewing vessels as its opening is adjustable by placing the lid and bowl closer or wider.
The angle of tilting the gaiwan also helps to change the speed of pouring. This is crucial as sometimes the brew and pour time needs to be controlled within seconds or the tea will go bitter.
4. It pleases your eyes and nose.
Taking the lid off, having the aromatic steam flowing into your nose before even tasting the tea is arguably the biggest pleasure one gets when brewing with a gaiwan.
Seeing different shapes and colors of tea leaves lying in a bowl and observing their changes throughout every round of infusion also provides a unique perspective when enjoying tea.
5. It’s easy to maintain and clean.
Gaiwan doesn’t get clogged with tea leaves like infusers or teapots do.
Simply toss out the tea leaf in one go and rinse it with water after a session. There will be no odor and no color left. It’s ready for another session immediately.