Facts about Gaiwan
When "gaiwan" is translated into English, it means "covered bowl', or a bowl with a lid.
Gaiwan is basically a Chinese bowl with a cover used for the infusion of tea leaves and the consumption of tea. This teaware consists of three parts from top to bottom, a lid, an open bowl, and a saucer. Gaiwan is usually made from glass, porcelain, jade or clay, but the most versatile are the ones made from glass or porcelain.
Gaiwan is used to brew any type of tea, but it is also perfect for premium teas, especially those with complex aromas such as oolong and pu-erh tea.
The inside of a gaiwan is always glazed, which means it doesn’t absorb flavors, therefore, you can have one gaiwan and still use it to brew more than one type of tea.
Choosing A Gaiwan
When buying glazed Chinese teaware, it is very important to check if the glaze is lead-free, especially if you are choosing from handmade pottery.
There is quite a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from. However, it is recommended to look at the functionality and versatility before purchasing.
- Consider the height-width ratio.
It is important to note that the height of the bowl should be at most two-thirds of the diameter of the cover when one intends to use it in tea-making.
- Consider the shape of the bowl.
Pay attention at how the bowl tapers, it should be in such a way that the tea leaves can easily be gathered at the bottom for effortless cleaning. Notice also that the tapering promotes the flow of liquid during drinking. And lastly, the bottom of the bowl may be angled or round.
- Lid shape or Cover shape
Take proper attention at the button of the lid. It should be concave at the center. This way it ensures effective dissipation of heat, thus avoiding burning your finger.
The dome of the lid should not be flat, ensuring that enough air is trapped between the liquid and the lid, creating an insulation cover.
- Saucer Shape
The saucer also serves as a handle when the ware is used as a cup. Hence, ensure that the bowl fits securely into the saucer, the depth and concave in the center are important to take note. So that it feels safe when the hand tilts the saucer to tilt the bowl for drinking.
- Material Thickness of the bowl and capacity
You can go for an average thickness of 1.5 mm for the side walls of the bowl and capacity of 140 ml.