This elegant teapot is known as Gaiwan (gaiwancha) which literally means "open bowl" or "covered bowl", one wonders: Why use it? Would it be useful to me? This seems impractical, what is it?
For tea lovers it is the gaiwan, which allows one of the most popular infusion methods in the world, and which far exceeds its aesthetic appearance.
Its appearance must be placed during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD) The vessel called a tureen was arguably more important than a teapot, and an artistic extension of the tea bowl "a piece of tea. »
From the point of view of the Chinese tea connoisseur, the gaiwan allows, through the easy mobility of its lid, to have an open container to display the beautiful flowering tea leaves and fill the room with its aroma. Made up of 2 or 3 pieces, the gaiwan is also easier to transport than a teapot, the latter more vulnerable due to its prominent spout. Furthermore, by this comparison made, cleaning and maintaining a gaiwan is easier.
The whole formed by its 3 elements of the gaiwan is very elegant. Often in beautiful china. A serious tea drinker will tell you that using it invites a more contemplative and reflective practice.
If you are unfamiliar with this form of tea service, you should make sure your gaiwan comes with a saucer. The saucer does not only have an aesthetic function, it serves to collect drops and protect your hands from heat. Carrying a gaiwan with its saucer takes some practice.
Pour the tea by carefully wedging the soup tureen between the saucer and the lid, placing your thumb firmly on the lid while the other 4 fingers support the saucer from below. As for the bowl itself, make sure it is flared on the far edge, not just for aesthetics, but function. Radiating outward from the bowl, the flare allows the tea drinker to take extra care in gently passing their fingers around their lips without burning themselves.
The consideration of the lid is often neglected, even though it is extremely important. A good lid should be concave and fit over the bowl so that it should form a slight dome. As with the flare, the concave cover serves 2 purposes. First, a volume is created between the lid and the water where the tea will have time to infuse and become fragrant. As with wine, your taste will closely combine with your sense of smell. Then from a technical point of view, the dome forms an insulating chamber between your fingers and the hot water. Your handling of gaiwan will find it easier.
Curiously, the gaiwan is likened to a tea set among Chinese connoisseurs. I think it can be compared to an individual teapot.
In conclusion, gaiwan is a precious ally of teas with scents that just need to blossom when infused, and it allows a beautiful individual experience of the senses.