What is a Gaiwan?
The gaiwan, also known as a zhong, is a very fine porcelain cup with a lid and saucer.
It serves as a brewing vessel for preparing tea using the Gong Fu Cha method, which consists of repeated brief infusions.
Traditionally, this technique is ideal for revealing the complex aromas of teas from China and Taiwan.
However, it can be used for all teas that have an appropriate aromatic profile (concentrated fragrances, complex notes).
The leaves have plenty of room to brew in the cup, while the lid is used to hold them back when pouring out the infusion and then to inhale the aromas.
The Gaiwan is made from "Blanc de Chine" porcelain from Dehua in the Fujian region of China. This porcelain is used extensively in the fine and decorative arts.
It is very fine and allows all the aromas and flavours of tea to develop. Its delicate creamy tint shows off the true colour of the infusion.
The gaiwan has a 10 cl capacity and is suitable for one person or a group.
Its immaculate finish makes it particularly comfortable to handle.
1. Heat the water until it starts simmering and pour some into the gaiwan to warm it. Then empty the gaiwan intothe fairness pot.
2. Fill the gaiwan halfway with tea leaves and add a little water to rinse and moisten them. Tip this first lot of water into the fairness pot and empty the latter.
3. Refill the gaiwan with water right to the top.
4. Place the lid on the pot and leave to brew for about thirty seconds.
5. Pour the infused liquor into the fairness pot or directly into the cups.
6. Inhale the tea's aromas from the lid.
7. Savour the first infusion.
8. Repeat the infusion using the same method, lengthening the infusion time when you notice a loss of flavour.