How to Use a Gaiwan: What is a Gaiwan?

While yixing clay teapots can make some incredible tea, they are not the ideal for everything.  This is where the gaiwan comes in.  It is the most popular and widespread brewing method in China for good reason.  The bone-china gaiwan we use to demonstrate with in the video, like any gaiwan, will not absorb flavors like yixing.  This means that you can use one gaiwan for all your tea.  Green and white tea, or scented tea like jasmine particularly benefit from gaiwan brewing.

Gaiwans are also great because you can use them to serve a group of people by pouring into a pitcher, or you can sip your tea right out of the gaiwan.  Just be sure to be careful about holding the gaiwan, as boiling water can be dangerous.  Check out the video to see proper technique for holding the gaiwan safely.

Teas Relevant To This Video

Published on by David Duckler

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Posted Comments

  1. Aly

    Very cool! I have just one question–if you’re sipping tea from the gaiwan itself, don’t the leaves sit there for longer than you’d want them to, thus oversteeping and making the liquor bitter? Or is the volume so little that you’ll have finished the tea before it can sit too long? Just wondering.

  2. JD

    I still need to get one of these. Maybe if you put some different gaiwans up for sale on the site I would buy one.

  3. Sarah

    Thanks for this informative video. I felt intimated by the idea of using a gaiwan, but now I see it’s fairly simple. I’m looking forward to using one.