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Gaiwan Tea


20 min

Gaiwan Tea

Gaiwan Tea Photo 1


Drinks Tea


20 min


5 persons




0.00 rating-star (0)

Author: Monica Feluchi

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!


  • green tea: 2 tsp (black or white tea)
  • sugar: 2 tsp (to your taste)
  • lemon: 1 piece (slice per cup)
  • additives: 1 pinch (to your taste, any you like)

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. 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.  

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 2
  2. 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.

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 3
  3. 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.

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 4
  4. 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.

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 5
  5. 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.

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 6
  6. 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!

    Gaiwan Tea Photo 7

History of the Gaiwan Tea:

Gaiwans have been used to brew and drink tea in China for centuries. It is said that the first gaiwans were made during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The simplicity of the design and ease of use made it a popular choice among tea drinkers. Today, gaiwans continue to be used and appreciated by tea enthusiasts around the world.

Tips and Tricks for Gaiwan Tea Recipe:

When making Gaiwan Tea, always use high-quality tea leaves and fresh water. The water temperature and steeping time should be adjusted based on the type of tea being used. For example, green tea is best brewed at a lower temperature (around 75-80В°C) for a shorter time (1-2 minutes), whereas black tea can be brewed at a higher temperature (around 95В°C) for a longer time (3-5 minutes).

It's important to rinse the gaiwan with hot water before brewing the tea to ensure that the cup is clean and to warm it up. Also, when pouring the tea from the gaiwan into the pitcher, make sure to hold the lid slightly askew to allow the tea to pour out while retaining the leaves.

Tips for presenting the dish:

When serving Gaiwan Tea, it's best to use small tasting cups, which allow the tea's aroma to be appreciated fully. Add a few slices of lemon, sugar, or any other flavorings you like to enhance the taste of the tea. It's also a good idea to provide a small plate or saucer for guests to place the lid on while drinking the tea. Overall, Gaiwan Tea is a delightful and elegant way to enjoy tea that will leave your guests impressed.

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