Purple clay gaiwan for use in a Gongfu ceremony.
Making tea in a gaiwan offers the tea drinker a chance to appreciate the color of leaves as they infuse, experience the aroma it exudes, and it provides simplicity in 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.
Capacity: about 150ml
Specification: Diameter: about 8.2 cm
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.