So what else do you need to know?
In general, you want to think carefully about the kind of tea you intend to prepare. Teapots or gaiwans crafted from heavier and denser raw materials, such as stone or clay, will retain heat better than those crafted from lighter raw materials, such as porcelain or glass. It’s not so much that one is “better” than the other, as it is that they are better suited for different kinds of tea.
You’ll do best if you keep in mind this one rule of thumb: the more sensitive the tea, the more sensitive the teaware.
In other words, when you prepare a more fragile, lighter tea—one brewed at lower temperatures, such as a green or white tea—you’ll want to reach for teaware that will allow the heat to disperse, cooling the tea a little more quickly. This helps amplify those delicate flavors that are distinctive of those kinds of tea.
On the other hand, when you are preparing something more highly oxidized, requiring longer infusion times or higher temperatures—such as oolong or black tea—you’ll want to reach for teaware that retains the heat better. The flavors in these teas tend to be at their best in hotter, warmer environments, and this teaware allows you to comfortably sip your tea while it remains nice and warm.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the shape of your tea relative to your teaware. If the tea you are making has leaves that are long and flat, then you’ll want to look for a teapot that gives these leaves the best opportunity to expand as they’re being infused. This means a shorter, wider teapot or gaiwan is the most appropriate. Conversely, when your tea leaves are heavier and tightly rolled, a taller and narrower teapot or gaiwan helps most.
Regardless of whether you choose to try a gaiwan or a teapot—or decide to stick with your trusty infuser—we hope you look at the relationship between your tea and teaware just a little differently now. There’s a harmony between the two that’s waiting to be discovered.
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March 09, 2018
- This Month
- Previous Articles
- The Complete Guide to Iced Tea, Pt. I: Flash Chilling
- What Makes for a Good Green Tea?
- Why Tea Lovers Look Forward to the Tea Harvest
- Meet the Legendary “Mother of All Teas”
- A Brief Guide to Steeping Loose Leaf Teas
- Understanding Pu’erh and Appreciating the Importance of Terroir
- What is Gan Pu Tea and Why Should You Be Drinking It?
- What is Teng Tiao Cha (“Rattan” or “Vine” Tea), and What Makes It So Unique?
- Pu’erh You Should Know: A Brief Introduction to Mengku Pu’erh
- Tea Tasting Guide: How to Taste and Appreciate Wuyi Rock Oolongs
- Bai Ji Guan: One of the Four Famous Wuyi Rock Oolongs and Why You’ve Never Heard Of It
- Pu’erh Tea Benefits: What You Need to Know about the Next Big Superfood
- A Brief History of Tea: How Curiosity Accidentally Created the Drink that Conquered the World
- Should You Use Bottled Water or Tap Water for Your Tea? It’s Complicated.
- The Difference between Sheng Pu-Erh and Shu Pu-Erh
- Family, Friends, and Community: The Importance of the Chinese Lunar New Year and What it Means for You
- How Can You Get the Most Out of your Pu-erh?
- What Makes Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea So Unique?
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Teacup Shapes
- Pairing Your Tea and Teaware, A Regional Approach
- What You Need to Know about Anxi Tieguanyin
- Four Reasons We Love Yixing Teapots
- Say Hello to Jian Shui Zi Tao Purple Clay Teapots!
- Meet the Intoxicating, Enchanting Long Yuan Mark, a Fire-Roasted Puerh
- The 2018 MeiMei Fine Teas Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, Pt. II (Teaware)
- The 2018 MeiMei Fine Teas Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide, Pt. I (Teas)
- Recipe: Move Over Coffee, the Eggnog Tea Latté has Arrived
- A Look at the Latest Award-Winning Teas, pt. II: Wuyi Rou Gui Rock Oolong
- A Look at the Latest Award-Winning Teas, pt. I: Long Jing Dragonwell
- What is Lapsang Tea? Just the Best Tea You can Drink in the Fall Season!
- Do You Really Need to Preheat Your Mug or Teapot?
- Are You Waiting Too Long to Resteep your Tea?
- Essential Teaware Explained: Your Guide to Gaiwan and How to Use It, Part 3
- Essential Teaware Explained: Your Guide to Gaiwan and How to Use It, Part 2
- Essential Teaware Explained: Your Guide to Gaiwan, Pt. 1 (Background)
- Mooncakes and Tea: Why We Love the Mid-autumn Moon Festival (and So Should You!)
- What You Need to Know About Commercial Grade Tea
- If Your Tea Doesn’t Taste Right, You May Be Making One of the Most Common Mistakes