Here is how we like to use this gaiwan (start with these guidelines, and then experiment on your own):
* Pre-warm the cup by adding some hot water to it, and then discarding that water
* Brew the tea directly in the cup by adding 2-3 tbsp of dry leaves
* Awaken the leaves. For oolongs and puerhs, cover the leaves with some hot water, and then immediately discard that first “rinsed” infusion. Leave the lid on the rinsed leaves
* Lift the gaiwan to your nose and tilt the lid open about 1/2” to release the aroma of the awakened leaves. Take it in. Inhale again and again, savoring this intoxicating scent
* Now add some hot water to these leaves, paddle them once or twice with the lid, and then replace the lid to let them steep about 30 seconds
* Tilt the lid back slightly and either start sipping directly from the gaiwan, or, decant the brew into another cup. At the lounges we use the Lotus Teacups for decanting. The teacups are great because the white color highlights the color of the tea, and allow the brew to cool just quick enough.
Experiment with both the quantity of tea and brewing time to find what works best for each tea. As a general guideline we suggest using 2-3 tablespoons of tea, and steeping the tea for just 20-30 seconds on the first infusion, extending the steeping time for each subsequent infusion. This method of brewing allows you to infuse the same tea leaves many times over, each infusion yielding a new and different experience.
All the teaware shown here is available in our online shop: