Monday, October 18, 2010

Using A Gaiwan to Prepare Tea

I have had many people ask me the best way to prepare tea. Of course, everyone has their own preference, but I like to use either an yixing clay teapot or a gaiwan. As shown in the photo to the right, a gaiwan set consists of the gaiwan container, which is shaped like a cup with a saucer and lid, and a teacup or pitcher to pour the tea into once it has brewed.

Step 1. Put the tea in the gaiwan (the cup shaped container with the lid).

Step 2. Rinse the tea by pouring boiling water (or cooler water for green tea) into the gaiwan over the tea.

Step 3. Carefully, using the lid as a strainer, pour the rinse water from the gaiwan into your teacup to warm the cup. Pour out the rinse water once the cup is warm.

Step 5. Prepare the first round of tea by filling the gaiwan with boiling or just boiled water (again use cooler water for green teas) and cover, letting steep for 15-30 seconds or so. Once it has steeped pour into your teacup (or cups), using the lid as a strainer. Sip and enjoy!

This can be repeated multiple times, with slightly longer infusion time each round.