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A "Gaiwan" is a Chinese bowl used for brewing and drinking tea. It consists of a saucer, a bowl and a special small lid. While this vessel can be used for any tea, it is especially preferred for teas with delicate flavors and aromas (green tea, white tea). This recipe of gaiwan tea won’t leave your guests indifferent!
Start with rinsing the gaiwan with hot water. This is required for two major purposes: to purify the cup, of course, and warm it up before brewing the tea.
Having warmed the gaiwan, put the tea leaves inside. You can start with 2 teaspoons and add more (if needed) to adjust to the required taste after the initial infusion. Keep in mind that due to the many variations of tea processing, some leaves are a lot more compact than others.
Add a few drops of water from the kettle to the leaves. This is needed to release the natural aroma of the tea. Alternatively, some people like to cover the leaves with hot boiling water and quickly pour it off. This is known as “flushing" the tea and is recommended particularly for tightly rolled and aged teas.
Now, it is high time to infuse the tea. When it comes to this process, water temperature and steeping time are just as important as the quality of the water and tea leaves used. Green tea, for example, is almost always infused uncovered, which prevents over-heating and allows constant monitoring and visual appreciation of the leaves during infusion. Black tea should be brewed at 85 C-95 C (185 F-203 F) for about 3 minutes. The same is about Oolong tea. Read the brewing instructions prior to infusing the tea.
When the tea is brewed, cover the gaiwan and pick it up on its plate with your left hand. Place it on the up-turned fingers of your right hand. The lid should be positioned slightly askew and held in place with the thumb to allow the tea to pour out while retaining the leaves. Pour the tea into the pitcher and then serve in individual tasting cups.
Add sugar, slices of lemon or other additives you prefer when drinking tea. This will make the taste of it more delicate and aromatic! Enjoy!