Gaiwan is a traditional dish for brewing Chinese tea. It consists of a bowl, a lid, and sometimes a saucer. In addition to being able to make extremely fast brewing, the gaiwan allows you to control the temperature of the water and effectively convey the aroma of the tea leaf.

The volume of the gaiwan varies from 80 to 300 ml.

A rare specimen of gaiwan without a saucer.


Gaiwan came into mass use in the XIV–XV centuries. Initially, it consisted only of a cup without a handle and lid. Over time, gaiwan began to be made with a stand-saucer. Thus, I was able to drink tea directly from the cup while keeping it on weight.

The reason for the mass use of gaywani was the spread of leaf tea. Before that, the Chinese mostly drank either pressed tea, which had to be brewed, or powdered tea, which was dissolved. With the evolving form of tea, there was also a need for an additional convenient object for brewing.

Types of gaiwan

Now you can find gaywan of different volumes, with and without a saucer. In most cases, the option with a saucer is more convenient: drops of water during brewing will not stain the table, it is more convenient to drink directly from the gaiwan, and you can also brew tea without using a Chaban (Tea Tray).

A large gaiwan with a volume of 300 ml. Suitable for large companies.

Gaiwan is handmade from Yixing clay. A stylish design with a carved pommel and a universal volume of 200 ml.

For one, a porcelain gaiwan is a baby. A modest price for excellent quality.

There is a difference in size, material, and design between gaiwan.

According to the material, gaywani are made of porcelain, glass, and clay. The fragrance remains on the lid wall of porcelain gaiwans for a longer period of time. Glass gaiwans keep the heat for less time and the tea cools faster, but it allows you to admire the color of the infusion. In gaiwan made of clay, tea cools down more slowly, and the gaiwan itself eventually develops, like the Yixing teapot.

Which is better: a gaiwan or a teapot?

For Chinese tea brewing, a gaiwan and a teapot are the two main tools. Which one should I choose?

We chose both. For some teas, a gaiwan is better suited, while for others, a teapot is better suited.

With a gaiwan, you can feel the aroma of tea more vividly, and with a teapot, you can see a richer taste. Therefore, super-fresh teas or teas with a powerful aroma are traditionally brewed in a gaiwan, and teas with a less pronounced aroma are brewed in a teapot. However, it all depends on what you want to get from a particular tea party.

At the same time, the harbor is considered a more versatile item. This is because most of them are made of porcelain or glass, which do not absorb the aroma of tea when brewed. Therefore, if you choose the first item for brewing, we advise you to start with it.

Brew tea in a gaiwan

There are 2 ways to use a gaiwan for tea drinking. You can use it as a kettle, or brew it and drink it directly from the gaiwan.

If we want to drink the Fujian method, repeatedly brewing tea

Warm up the gaiwan with boiling water;

Pour a dry leaf. With the lid closed, shake the gaiwan and open the lid slightly to inhale the aroma of a dry leaf;

We pour water into the gaiwan and wait for 3-7 seconds;

Take the gaiwan by the upper rim of the bowl with your thumb and middle finger, hold it with your index finger, and slightly shift the lid;

Pour the infusion into a Cha Hai (Gong Dao Bei) or a cup;

Repeat the brewing several times, gradually increasing the infusion time.

Such brewing in gaiwan is called Fujian.

If we want to drink Sichuan method straight from the cup

Warm up the gaiwan with boiling water;

We pour a dry leaf (2-3 times less than we pour with the usual tea drinking). With the lid closed, shake the gaiwan and open the lid to smell the aroma of dry leaves.

Pour boiling water into the gaiwan and wait for 2-3 minutes;

We take the gaiwan by the saucer with one hand, and with the other we slightly shift the lid, holding the tea leaves. You can drink directly from the formed slit;

And you can completely remove the lid if you are not confused by the leaves that are trying to swim away from the bottom.

Sichuan province often drinks straight from gaiwan.

Gaiwan is convenient, practical, and versatile.

Choose the gaiwan that suits you best, drink delicious tea, and stay good people!

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