Call us: (514) 564-3363

  • English
0

Shopping cart

0 items - US$0.00

How to Use a Gaiwan

Using a gaiwan to steep your tea is the best way to unleash its complex flavors and aromas!

A gaiwan is a lidded cup and saucer, usually made of ceramic or glass, that has been used to infuse and serve tea for thousands of years in Asia. Your TIY gaiwan was designed in Canada as a modern interpretation of this ancient tool and is made from tempered glass for durable elegance.

The earliest known gaiwan dates to the Ming dynasty, the era when new, more complex rituals around tea preparation became popular in China. In our modern times, a gaiwan is both a practical and beautiful choice for making tea. As an open bowl, they are very easy to clean (no more fussing with a clogged tea strainer!) and compact, as well as visually appealing.

The wide bowl of the gaiwan allows your tea leaves or botanical ingredients to infuse evenly and release more complex aromas, as opposed to the constricted, cramped environment of a tea bag or infusion ball. Your gaiwan will release the full potential of your chosen blend with this simple and enjoyable ritual!

Making tea in your gaiwan

Step 1: Measure your tea

Place the desired tea leaves, herbs or botanical ingredients into the bowl of the gaiwan. Your gaiwan holds one serving of tea, which usually amounts to about one teaspoon of dried tea leaves, herbs or botanical ingredients.

Step 2: Infuse

Pour hot water into the bowl of the gaiwan and cover, allowing the leaves to infuse for a few minutes (according to the recipe). If you’re using a TIY recipe, the recommended water temperature can be found below the instructions.

Otherwise, use the following list to estimate the best water temperature for infusing your DIY tea blend based on its primary ingredient:

  • Black tea (including Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, lapsang souchong)........................96ºC/205ºF
  • Pu’erh tea……………….…………………………………………………………….....96ºC/205ºF
  • Herbal tea and botanicals (including chamomile, lemon balm, spearmint, etc).....90ºC/194ºF
  • Green tea (including sencha).................................................................................80ºC/176ºF
  • White tea (including white peony tea)....................................................................80ºC/176ºF

 Step 3: Serve

Grasp the bowl of the gaiwan just below the rim with your thumb and middle finger, using your index finger to control the lid. Carefully lift the gaiwan, tilting the lid to create a narrow opening with your index finger. Either pour the tea into cups, leaving the leaves behind, or sip directly from the gaiwan.

Step 4: Re-Infuse (optional)

Simply repeat Step 2 to re-infuse the tea, allowing the leaves to steep for slightly longer with each additional infusion. Although we recommend re-infusing twice, the tea’s flavor evolves slightly with each infusion, so it’s really a matter of personal preference! Some teas are also known to be particularly good for re-steeping, while others lose their flavor more quickly.

This list offers some general guidelines for re-infusing your tea, but most of the time, you’ll need to try it to know if you like it!

  • Black tea (including Assam, Keemun, Ceylon, lapsang souchong) - generally good for one or two re-infusions.
  • Pu’erh tea - generally very good for re-infusion up to 5 times, depending on the age of the tea.
  • Herbal tea and botanicals (including chamomile, lemon balm, spearmint, etc) - Since botanicals and herbs encompass a large range of flavors, you’ll only know how a particular blend re-steeps once you’ve tried! In general, stronger and more potent flavors like ginger perform well for several re-infusions, while lighter flavors fade faster.
  • Green tea (including sencha) - generally good for two re-infusions (three total steepings).
  • White tea (including white peony tea) - generally good for one or two re-infusions.