Since I started my tea blog I've learned SO much about tea culture around the world. Growing up, I was only ever exposed to how Persians brew tea. In my family, tea is not so much about brew time but about brew color and aroma. I love to use glass because then I can see if the tea has brewed to the perfect shade. Is this wrong? Who knows, but it's how I enjoy my tea.
I discovered Bitterleaf teas on Instagram and they create beautiful tea ware! I've been wanting to try a gaiwan so I purchased this gorgeous moka glazed gaiwan.
I've seen many people using gaiwans and honestly I was a little intimidated. I'm not an expert in tea and wondered if I would do it wrong. It also didn't help that when I looked up how to use a gaiwan I saw multiple videos that were 20 minutes or longer. Woah, a little out of my league.
BUT, I decided to take a leap. I started this blog to explore and that's what I'm going to do.
I found several guides that were much easier and clearer to understand and I started brewing! I learned many things that were truly fascinating!
Are you thinking, what the heck is a Gaiwan? Gai = lid and Wan= bowl.
The gaiwan is this cute little bowl with a top. Brewing is actually very simple but I found it to be a very meaningful little ceremony. Like Matcha, the brewing process is more involved and I found it to be so calming and meditative!
First you warm both your gaiwan and your tea cup. This is something I have never thought about doing but it is genius! If the gaiwan is cold then the water you pour in will drop in temperature much quicker.
Before your gaiwan cools down too much put your tea leaves into the gaiwan. Now, at this point I have seen many different practices. Some people turn or swish the tea, but the basic idea is to get it spread out and not all stuck together, this way it can brew more evenly.
The first pour into the gaiwan will be a wash. This is one of my favorite parts. This first rinse or wash is just there to wake up the leaves. This is so poetic and fitting for tea, I love it!
Fill your gaiwan once more and let it brew for a few minutes. Brew time is highly dependent on what type of tea you're using. That's it. Enjoy! My favorite part is using a small tea cup so that every time I fill it, the tea is at a different stage in brewing.
I've looked at some rituals that were more complicated, but I liked doing it this way. It was simple but most importantly, it connected me to my tea!
If you have trouble meditating, I suggest trying this ritual of tea brewing. You will focus on your tea, gaiwan and tea cup. You will be calm and the cup of tea you drink at the end is so much more meaningful.
I feel like different gaiwans may start popping up on my shelves, if you have any suggestions drop me a line please!