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Chinese Tea Gaiwans



Tea is an aromatic beverage that is prepared by boiling the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. It originated in Southwest China and was often used as a medicinal drink. The early evidence of drinking tea dates back to 2nd century BC. It was discovered that Han Dynasty emperors often drinks tea from Camellia. During the Tang Dynasty, the drinking of tea was popularized as a leisure drink. Before the invention of Gaiwan, Chawan was often used to tea brewing. In addition, not only is Chawan used for brewing tea but after its preparation, people consume it directly from the said bowl. Through the years, innovations in improving the tool used for brewing tea gave rise to Gaiwan.

The History of Gaiwan



The use of Gaiwans in tea preparation started during the Ming Dynasty. It was through these years that the preparation and rituals of tea were enhanced. This happened at the peak of pottery making wherein China was known for creating delicate and fine tablewares and teacups. During this time, teacup designs were innovated. Teacups that has no handle were given cover lids. A deep saucer was added to be used for the cup to sit in. These improvements led to the creation of what is now known as Gaiwan. Today, the Chinese Tea Gaiwan is considered as the most preferred method of brewing tea.

Design of Gaiwan

The Chinese Gaiwan is a covered bowl used to infuse tea leaves. It is made up of porcelain, glass, and clay. It includes three pieces: a small cup that has a splayed lip, a cover lid, and a deep saucer which holds the cup. Gaiwans are normally small. It typically holds around 150 ml of tea. Through the years, Gaiwans are styled differently. There are plain Gaiwans, glass Gaiwans, and Gaiwans with drawings. These drawings vary from Chinese characters, flowers, dragons, and much more.

What kind of Gaiwan is suitable for brewing?



Most tea connoisseurs’ uses Gaiwans to brew delicate teas. This is because the porcelain material absorbs the heat. It also does not damage the tea leaves making it perfect for consumption. They are suitable for green and white tea. They can also be used for scented teas like Jasmine. For black tea, Gaiwans are not suitable to use. The lid is too large which allows the heat to escape during the steeping process.

Brewing tea using Gaiwan

The first step to brewing tea is to warm your Gaiwan with hot water. This process will ensure better control of the temperature. Rinse it and then drain. Next is to measure your tea. The amount of tea to be used will depend on the size of your Gaiwan. Before infusing, rinse the leaves properly. This process will release the initial scent of the leaves. Pour a hot water in the Gaiwan to infuse the leaves. The temperature of the water must coincide with your tea or else, it might taste differently. Once the leaves are properly infused, serve the tea accordingly. Just be careful when picking up the Gaiwan as it might be hot.

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