Originally introduced in China during the Ming dynasty, a gaiwan is a tea brewing vessel comprised of three parts including a lid, a bowl and a saucer. Usually made of porcelain and beautifully decorated, preparing tea in a gaiwan makes it easier to appreciate the aromas and beauty of the leaves as they unfold over multiple infusions.
One of the memorable moments of our tea travels comes from an afternoon in the Taiwanese countryside learning about oolong tea with a tea master. While we learnt a lot on that day, one of the most important lessons was that drinking tea should make you smile. And it does. Especially when we make oolong tea in a gaiwan.