Gaiwan - traditional teaware
Gaiwan (蓋碗/盖碗) is a special cup with a cover and a saucer for a tea brewing. Volume could be different - usually it is 80-200 ml. Usually gaiwan is made from porcelain, but also could be from glass or clay.
Gaiwan was found between 14 and 15 centuries when in China people began to use loose teas (instead of pressed tea which was cooked, and powder tea which was shook up in special ware and was drank from this ware).
The lid carries out following functions:
- allows tea to be brewered well, but not to cool down.
- allows to inhale tea aroma
- it is possible to drink tea through a slit
The saucer is used for
- collecting spilling liquid
- for convenient holding of gaiwan, when it is hot
- for pouring out of tea leaves and their examining
Gaiwan has also other name Sāng zǐ wān – cup of three pillars, which has meaning that the cover is a sky, saucer is a earth, and a cup is a. Was considered that being between heaven and earth the person finds harmony only by tea drinking.
Usually people drink grom gaiwan teas with a delicate taste, for example, white, green and some types of oolongs.
You can drink tea directly from gaiwan, or por out small cups.
Tea brewing in gaiwan is very traditional for Chinese tea ceremony. The simplest way of brewing is as following-put in gaiwan some tea, about 1 teaspoon on the person, fill with hot water on 2/3 volumes according to recommendations for brewing of a certain type of tea, wait 1-2 minutes and drink through a narrow slit or pour on cups. After you drunk more than a half, the fill the rest with hot water. It is possible to brew up to 4 times. At each brewing don’t forget to inhale aroma of tea – it changes from brewing to brewing.