The classic white porcelain might make one overlook this gaiwan, but on closer inspection, a myriad of refined subtleties make themselves known: the beautiful, delicate s-curve of its side; the well-proportioned widths of the cup and saucer; the bowed arch of its lid. All of these speak to the quality of the piece’s production, and indeed, this is no common, moulded pottery, but the hand-thrown work of a master craftsman.
Not merely aesthetic, the generous well on the lid provides a functional advantage, allowing the thumb to rest securely. Likewise, the snug inset on the saucer prevents the cup from sliding around, while stray drops of tea can disappear into its depths.
The quality of the porcelain is unparalleled: extremely white, pure, and homogeneous, there are no off-shades of grey or yellow—typical of lower quality porcelain—allowing one to appreciate the precise colour of the tea liquor unbiased by its vessel.
Beautiful, yet understated, this gaiwan is one to make your main aide for enjoying great tea, and its even, white colour is the perfect backdrop to observe the colour and texture of tea leaves and liquor, while the elegant form sets off any teaware companions on the gongfu cha table.
Why do I need a gaiwan?
The gaiwan is the most common tea vessel in China. It comprises three pieces: a thin-walled, handle-less cup, a saucer, and a lid. The cup is given a flared lip to hold it without burning one’s fingers.
According to custom, you should brew only the precise quantity of tea that you need to serve you and your guests. Several infusions follow; only freshly brewed tea is dispensed in the cups. This procedure guarantees best results.
Unlike Yixing teapots, the gaiwan does not retain odours. So you can brew different kinds of tea in the same gaiwan.
Usage: steep the leaves in the gaiwan and pour the brewed tea into a second pot for serving. Use a strainer if necessary. Repeat several times, refilling the gaiwan.
- MATERIAL: Porcelain
- CAPACITY: approx. 90 ml (under the lid)
- DIAMETER: 9 cm
- HEIGHT: 7.8 cm