Gaiwan / Houhin questions
Im interested in getting a Gaiwan or Houhin around the 8 oz size to brew tea in and I was wondering about the pour. I know a Gaiwan has a saucer to catch the drips, so Im assuming they are hard to pour without making a mess? The houhin has a spout with seems less messy, Ive seen the houhins with stainless screens and then with holes poked thru the porcelin/clay and was wondering which would be better. I plan on brewing some hunnan gold teas and dont want to use a yixing . Anyone have any experiences or suggestions for me? Thanks
Using a gaiwan takes some practice, but I don’t really spill anymore now that I’ve used it for awhile.
OMG! I just was reading about Gaiwans…ironic!
Well what im trying to do is simplify my brewing for one cup of tea (8oz) at a time. Right now im using a screen infuser that sits in my teacup, and im over shaking out the spent leaves then rinising out the mesh screen with the few reamaining leaves which can be a pain if they stick to the screen.I would like to get something thats non metalic or plastic and easy spent leaves cleanup…but I’ve read a larger gaiwan like 8oz is too hard to handle.I brew black tea so a houhin/hohin without “ears” would be too hot to handle during the pour due to the temp of the water I use for black tea. A gaiwan seemed perfect, one quick wipe with a paper towel,quick rinse and Im done. I’m open for suggestions if anyone has any. I was looking at this, although it wouldnt be as easy to clean out as a gaiwan due to the lid lip.
I prefer to drink my green teas from a gaiwan, and I have found that ordinarily, I actually like to drink it directly from my gaiwan. There is a character to my Dragonwell and sencha that seems lost when I pour it into cups. Silver Needle on the other hand, either way is about the same. For black teas, you may want to not use a gaiwan. All of the ones I’ve used/seen are pretty delicate and will bleed heat right out of it. I know that I can taste a noticeable difference from when I brew whatever Darjeeling in a teapot or in the gaiwan. I’m not as well refined on the tasting differences on black teas, so I couldn’t tell you which one is “better”, but there is a difference.
I LOVE gaiwans! With a little practice they are so easy to use, clean, and maintain. I like the gaiwans that have a tray because I hold the lid, cup, and tray at the same time when pouring (my fingers on the bottom of the tray and my thumb on the lid) which allows for easy pouring without burning myself.
When I saw your link above, I instantly thought of the gaiwan that a friend bought me when I was still trying to get the hang on pouring. It’s porcelain and comes with a removable mesh strainer. It is only a little over 6 oz and I know you were looking for 8 oz… but, I figured I would tell you about it anyways. I gave you the direct link to the blue one that I have, but if you go to their teaware section, under gaiwans, they also have a green one.
Thanks so much for your replies. Since this is rather an old thread, I’ve since purchased a gaiwan for my tea and couldnt be happier. I have a 6oz gaiwan and its the best thing since sliced bread! No more fuss and muss with the strainer, just a simple swipe with a paper towel and rinse. I didnt get the super thin eggshell gaiwan so Ive not had any problem with burning my fingers, I simply use the bottom saucer and lid and pour like you do IdentiTEA and it pours like a dream. If anyone out there is a one cup brewer at a time I encourage you to try a gaiwan, their inexpensive and easy to pour the perfect cup.Even with my tiny leaf teas I rarely get any leaf in my cup. I am now on the hunt for a nice travel set gaiwan with a case to protect it from breakage, since this summer I will be traveling and I really dont want to go back to using a teabag.
I purchased this gaiwan from strand tea and I love it. It really fits well it in saucer and the saucer sits high enough to really get your fingers under it for pouring. I use it for greens and blacks.
If you’re decanting from the gaiwan rather than drinking out of it directly, it’s more common to use the three-finger method – holding the two edges with your thumb and middle finger, and holding your index finger over the knob on top.
Marshaln’s video about this is worth a watch:
Will-thanks for posting that youtube link. I found it helpful. I’m such a klutz I may need to purchase 2 or 3 gaiwans at first (as I’m sure to have broken pieces).
This is my gaiwan/ho-hin story: I have this one http://tinyurl.com/y7t9nll sold here: http://shop.andaotea.com/products/lotus-painted-porcelain-tea-set# but also want this one: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/Ho-hin-teapots.html (though it’s been sold out for ages!). This one came in the mail today (so have not used it yet): http://www.artoftea.com/catalog/gaiwan-travel-p-313.html. And this is the other one I would love to have because it’s so happy (and on sale!) http://www.inpursuitoftea.com/Yellow_Porcelain_Gaiwan_Set_p/xc591.htm.