About Dark Brown Raw Clay Gaiwan:
This stunning new yixing clay gaiwan is beautifully designed, featuring traditional Chinese patterns of clouds on the lid and small flying dragons on the cup. Though most styles of tea can be brewed in a gaiwan, it is an especially excellent choice for large leaf teas, such as twisted leaf oolongs, due to its width and capacity. This gaiwan is made of raw clay from the renowned region of Yixing, China, known for its excellent clay teaware.
Making tea in a gaiwan offers the tea drinker a chance to view the leaves and appreciate their color and aroma as they infuse. It also provides some beauty and simplicity in the preparation. The lid is used as a strainer to pour the brew into another cup, or to hold back the leaf for sipping. The saucer helps avoid the heat while holding the gaiwan.
History of the Gaiwan:
One of the earliest traditions of tea drinking in China included drinking tea from a large bowl. Detailed accounts of this can be found in the book Cha Ching, authored by the tea scholar Lu Yu. It is this custom that was expanded into the more famous Japanese tea bowls used in the Chanoyu ceremony. During the Ming Dynasty in China, this custom gave birth to the new tradition of using a smaller bowl, easy to hold, and with a cover. Sometimes, it is also called Gai Bei, or covered cup.
Located on the western side of Lake Tai in Jiangsu province in China, Yixing (pronounced ‘ee shing’) is renowned as the source for the world-famous teapots made from clay. There are several types of Yixing clays (dark brown, purple, green, and yellow) with unique properties. The final result and appearance of the clay is dependent on age, fermentation, mix, and firing temperature. The same clay fired at different temperatures will have different resulting finishes. High-quality Yixing teapots are handmade by experienced artisans.
The distinctive earthenware pots made from this clay have been used for over a millennia. Though originally used for wine and water, resourceful tea-drinking monks discovered Yixing pots to be ideal vessels for tea brewing. Not only does the semi-porous nature of the clay help to retain heat, but it also absorbs the oils from the leaves, subtly seasoning each teapot with the tea’s flavor and fragrance.
Since regular use seasons this yixing clay gaiwan, we suggest using it only for one category of tea (white, green, oolong, etc.).
Approximately 3.5″ diameter, 3.25″ height including saucer and lid.
4.5 ounce capacity.