What is gaiwan?

In eastern Asia, especially China and Taiwan, gaiwan is a normal way to brew tea.

But what is gaiwan?

Material and Structure

Just like other teaware, gaiwan is usually made of ceramic, and some are made of glass.

A normal gaiwan has three-part:
Tian(天,means sky),Di(地,means earth),and Ren(人,means human).
This concept is derived from ancient Chinese philosophy, Sancai(三才), and it means universe.
If we see through gaiwan from its one side,
we can see the bottom is a saucer, it’s Di;
Above Di, a teacup has been placed in the saucer slot, and it’s Ren.
The whole teacup has a narrow but round bottom and wide at the top; the shape is just like lotus or tulip.
Finally, there is a small lid on the eight or nine points of the teacup. It’s Tian.
There is a small grip on the small lid for easy grasping.
A traditional and simple gaiwan is made of white porcelain; the circumference of the wide side of Ren and Di is the same; the circumference of the narrow side of Tian and Di is the same.

How to brew with gaiwan?

We put the right amount of tea in Ren when brewing tea, flush in hot water, close Tian.
Wait for a while, feel the water temperature conduction through the grip, and slightly remove Tian to confirm the color of the water and the extent of the tea leaves.
When pouring out the tea, prepare a cup or other suitable container just beside the gaiwan.
Tilt Tian and press one side of Tian against the inner wall at nine points of Ren, and pour out tea with this side.
Attention! Steam will come from the other side; please be careful not to get scalded.

The advantage of using a gaiwan is that the shape helps the tea dance in hot water so that the ingredients of the tea are fully released. We can quickly understand the quality of tea through this.
Please try out brewing tea with gaiwan; perhaps this will give you a new understanding of your tea collection.