As part of our 3-part tea ware exploration series, this month we’ll be playing with that most classic of traditional brew ware – the gaiwan. Interestingly, even though the gaiwan (“lidded cup”) and the teapot were developed around the same time in ancient China, the gaiwan has been much, much slower to catch on in tea cultures elsewhere. It’s a style of brewing that can seem complicated or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. 

In this workshop, we explore the benefits of this method, key features and types of gaiwan, and appropriate teas to consider for brewing. 

If you’d like to brew along, the experiments we’ll be doing include comparing a gaiwan to a cupping set and a small clay pot, measuring temperature control and observing flavor differences. You’ll need a digital thermometer, electric kettle, gram scale, and a few sharing pitchers to decant tea into. Suggested teas include heavy oolongs or black teas. 

Original airdate: Apr 2019