Gaiwans are porcelain teapots often used for gong fu style steepings. The width of the gaiwan means it works well for large leaf teas, like oolongs or pu-erh, giving them ample room to move and unfurl during the steeping process. To taste the full range of a tea’s flavor, use a gaiwan to steep multiple, short infusions and watch as the tea develops in depth.
Prep and clean the gaiwan by filling with hot water and then pouring off.
Fill the gaiwan 1/4 - 1/3 full with tea leaves and then cover with hot water. Immediately pour off the water and discard. This is to prep the leaves for brewing.
Fill the gaiwan again with hot water. Cover and let steep. Steeping time will vary but will usually be less than a minute for the first steeping, increasing the time by 10 - 30 seconds for each subsequent steeping.
Use the lid to strain the teas and pour into a pitcher or cups by placing your thumbs on the handle of the lid, placing your other fingers under the saucer, and confidently turning the gaiwan over.
Enjoy your tea and then start the process again, this time increasing the brewing time.