Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What's What Wednesday 4

The Gaiwan

Hi! How are you doing today? The weather is perfect for brewing tea today.
Unfortunately, Camille and I aren't here for a tea review, but we are here to tell you about a style of tea things called a gaiwan. Trying to pronounce it? Well, it's spelled similar to the country Taiwan, so let's start there and go with guy-whan. I saw a Wikipedia article where is mentioned a pronunciation of zhong, but I don't trust Wikipedia completely.
So this awesome kit here was found at a store in Pottstown PA at the Coventry Mall. the woman was very friendly and explained how to use it. The main pieces are the bowl, saucer, and lid; we also have a small tasting cup.
The saucer acts as insulation when pouring out. The lid keeps tea leaves from escaping, and the bowl is for steeping.
When you steep, you put the leaves in the bowl then add the hot water. Then after 10 seconds you hold the saucer and lid on the bowl and pour out the water - that's the foot water or wash - then pour over more hot water. The people at Zhen Tea have a neat video about it. Click here to view it. 
The key is to steep in smaller quantities. They say the notes are different in small batches rather than large. The Tea Nerd mentions that the wash wakes up the leaves so they give more flavor.
The people at The Canton Tea Company also have great information on using a gaiwan. We haven't officially tested ours yet, but have some pu'erh ready to go. That's for another day. (giggles)
Have you ever used a gaiwan? If you have any tips, please leave a comment.

Oooo, we're just getting this post in under the wire.

Tchau! Até mais tardis!


  1. I may have bought like a half dozen of those little tasting cups there...and tried all her tea samples that she had out the one day. :)

    1. I believe it. She's very gracious in sharing the sample teas.