Essentials of Teaware — Essentials of Teaware RSS

Raw Materials

Teaware can be made out of a variety of materials. These materials all have their own characteristics, which makes some materials better suited for certain purposes than others.  However, the type of material used is not the only factor to consider when purchasing teaware — material quality, thickness, and even color, are just as important for the teaware’s function. For example, a thicker teapot will retain heat more than a thinner teapot, which makes it more ideal for hotter brewing and less ideal for cooler brewing. Another example is color — plain, white interiors in brewing vessels and teacups allow you to better see and appreciate the leaves and the color of the tea liquor, as compared to dark or...

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The Tools of Tea Making

There are many tools used in Gong Fu brewing. These tools serve specific functions, and act as the link between the brewer and the tea, enriching the experience of a tea session.  Gaiwan (Gài Wǎn 盖碗) — Gaiwans are the most common brewing vessel in Gong Fu brewing. The word gaiwan literally translates to “lidded bowl” (gài 盖 meaning lid, wǎn 碗 meaning bowl). Gaiwans originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), along with the Gong Fu brewing system. Most gaiwans are made of porcelain and can usually fit around 80-120ml of water, though larger (150-200ml) and smaller (40-60ml) gaiwans are also fairly common. Tea is infused in the gaiwan, and poured out into the tea pitcher. Teapot (Chá Hú...

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Cleaning and Maintenance

Teaware should be cleaned after every use. After you have disposed of the tea leaves, rinse the teaware in boiling water. Hot water sanitizes the teaware and helps it dry faster. Afterwards, dry the teaware with a clean tea towel for storage. You can also use mild dish soap on porcelain and glass teaware while washing, but never on clayware; instead, use only hot water and a soft towel to clean clayware. Materials such as the soft side of the sponge or a soft towel should be used to clean the teaware; avoid rough or harsh materials.  For stubborn tea stains on porcelain or glass, submerge your teaware in a bowl or container with warm water. Add 15g (1 tbsp)...

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