The imposing stature of this thick-walled gaiwan lends a dignified presence to the room it’s in; a gongfu cha session with it at the centre will feel truly ceremonial. While its convex sloping sides seem to elevate the lid to a lofty height, the base remains tranquilly stoic atop its saucer. Equally elegant, its craquelure glaze evokes the classic colour of celadon ware, available in one of two shades: a cool grey like polished stones along a riverbed, with the barest suggestion of green, and a more familiar celadon blue-green. Both are garnished with rims in a mild brown, drawing attention to the craftsmanship of the ceramic beneath, as well as maker’s marks stamped on the cup and saucer undersides. While its solid construction makes it by no means delicate, it is truly an emblem of workmanship in itself, and can be displayed in place of pride among other teaware.
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: Stoneware
- CAPACITY: 110 ml (under the lid)
- WIDTH: 10 cm
- HEIGHT: 8.5 cm