First off, for those that doesn’t know what Gaiwan is, it is compose of a saucer, a lid and a bowl.

And Gaiwan or Zhong is primarily used for infusion of tea leaves and tea consumption. It was developed around 1644-1912 (Ching Dynasty) as an improvement from the drinking cups that had been made in the past.

If you happen to be one of those that already know how to handle a Gaiwan, you can visit our Gaiwan and Glass Brewing page for additional references. If you are new to all of these, then read the article below.

The Correct Way To Hold a Gaiwan

Holding a Gaiwan takes no effort at all. Assuming that you are right-handed, all you need to do is:

  1. Put the gaiwan in the center or middle of your left palm
  2. To support the bottom of the plate you should spread your fingers
  3. To hold the rim of the cup, you must use your thumb
  4. To handle the lid, you must have your right hand on stand by

Drinking From a Gaiwan

There are only two things that you need to consider when drinking from a gaiwan and those are:

  1. Stirring the Tea – The stirring process involves not using a spoon at all. So how does you do it? Simple, using your thumb and index finger, hold the knob of the lid and dip the near side of the lid into the tea and push the floating leaves outwards. If you are a seasoned tea drinker, you can eventually play with the floating tea leaves with style using your wrist.
  2. Drinking While Keeping the Floating Tea Leaves Out of the Way – In order for you to drink you tea without drinking the floating tea leaves all you need to do is: Move the lid a bit off center thus creating a narrow gap enough to filter the tea leaves coming out from the gaiwan. Using your left hand, bring the Gaiwan to your mouth at the same time your right hand is on the lid keeping it on position.

Serving Tea with a Gaiwan

Serving tea with a gaiwan is as simple as the process mentioned above, what you need to do is hold the gaiwan with BOTH hands and serve it.

Always remember that offering or serving tea using a gaiwan or any other cups for that matter is considered as an impolite gesture.