How to use a Gaiwan to Make Tea
Invented in the ming dynasty the Gaiwan remains one of the best vessels to make tea with. Tea has long been appreciated for its ritual and meditative aspects and the Gaiwan harmonizes these perfectly.
The plate represents earth, the bowl humanity, and the lid heaven. The plate being the foundation, the bowl being the main variable that determines dose, time, and temp, and the lid trapping in the aromas or the essence of tea.
When we make tea with the Gaiwan we brew with our senses. You watch the color of the liquor change depending on the oxidation of the tea. You smell the lid to see the aromas developing inside the cup, and you listen to your breath to determine the appropriate steeping time.
One fun element to the Gaiwan is you can see the way that the tea will develop through multiple infusions. For instance - the first infusion might be more brisk as it has the most polyphenol content - to temper it you might put a shorter second infusion on top of the first one to obtain optimum balance.
Please enjoy this short video below by S P I R I T Co-Founder Taylor Cowan to help you use your Gaiwan at home.