What is Gaiwan tea?

Gaiwan tea, also known as covered bowl tea, is a unique way of enjoying the art of tea drinking. Originating in China, this method involves the use of a special bowl called a gaiwan, which has a cover that fits snugly over the rim. The gaiwan allows the tea to steep while retaining the aroma and heat within, resulting in a more concentrated and flavorful tea experience.

To prepare gaiwan tea, one first adds the desired amount of tea leaves to the bowl. Hot water is then poured over the leaves, filling the bowl about halfway. The cover is placed over the bowl, trapping the steam and aroma inside. After a brief steeping time, the tea is ready to be enjoyed.

The gaiwan not only serves as a steeping vessel but also as a drinking cup. To drink, the cover is slightly tilted to create an opening, and the tea is poured directly into the mouth. This allows for a more intimate experience with the tea, as one can fully appreciate the nuances of flavor and aroma.

Gaiwan tea is often associated with the practice of gongfu cha, or the art of making tea. It requires skill and patience to master, but the end result is a deeply satisfying cup of tea that is rich in flavor and aroma. Whether you're a seasoned tea enthusiast or just starting your journey with tea, the gaiwan method is a wonderful way to enhance your appreciation for this ancient and beloved beverage.

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