I love my Gaiwan, but........
It isn’t conducive to brewing with in the office. I want to be fancy and do it right, but the Gaiwan and me aren’t seeing eye to eye lately. I rush it and get bitter brews, and often end up with leaves in my cup.
What are options – with a strainer – and less clumsy while I am buzzing around trying to accomplish the days work?
Something in the 8-12oz range wouldn’t be bad either!
I really like this tea maker, it accomplishes short steeps very well, in a more friendly manner for the office :-)
I should have added, even a pot I could brew in with a strainer would be great….but that is another world to me at this point. Took days deciding on a Gaiwan, and they are all the same! LOL
I’d recommend the Ingenuitea from Adagio (or alternately the Steeper from DavidsTea though I haven’t tried that one yet). You just put the leaves in, pour water in, steep then drain into a mug. I guess technically you could even use it as an impromptu gaiwan if you wanted the short steeps instead.
It is plastic so it does tend to hold smells. But I just give the inside a soak in baking soda, then a bit of a scrub and it’s all good.
Hario makes some Fab small glass tea pots with really deep and wide strainers. To me it works very well instead of a gaiwan because the strainer basket is nearly as large as the pot. I think the smallest is 300 Ml. might not be small enough but the basket is large enough you don’t have to fill the pot all the way
there are gongfu glass teapots at spots like teavivre that hold no more than 8oz of tea at a time, where the strainer’s a metal brake in the spout so the leaves still float freely in the main part of the pot. i really love mine when i want to enjoy high quality big leaved chinese or taiwanese tea resteeped over and over a cup at a time, where i still get to see the leaves do their thing, and the material isn’t so heat-retentive as to burn delicate leaves.
ETA: here’s an example: http://www.teavivre.com/exquisite-glass-gongfu-teapot/
this one is my favorite. i actually have 4 of those:) im weird, i like to steep several teas at the same time. the last 2 i got from Dragon tea house
i love them too! it’s sort of the best of both worlds to me, where you’re doing a small amount you resteep a lot like with a gaiwan or whatnot, but the convenience/no-mess factor of a typical infuser basket to control timing and all that, plus you can still watch the leaves unfurl and give them plenty of room to.
and agreed about the ~8oz kyusus, esp. if you like fine-leaved japanese greens. it’s a similar principle where the strainer’s where the spout is, so the leaves float freely in the main chamber. i prefer my little glass teapot because i get to see the leaves and color of the tea liquor, but i find japanese greens tend to clump in it more than they do with a fine-mesh-strainer kyusu.
i got my basic kyusu super cheap from den’s months and months ago, but it seems to be out of stock at the moment. but in case it comes back in, or to give a sense of what i’m talking about, here it is: http://www.denstea.com/teapots-cups-shudei-kyusu-c-275_379.html
If it helps narrow it down at all I brew green 75% of the time. Chinese and Japanese. I also brew some red/black from Yunnan, it is raw and needs a washing first. If there was one pot that would do all of those I would be a very happy man!
I like the idea of no basket and the leaves floating freely, would that pot cover all my needs?
My favorite method is a small French press intended for coffee. Being glass it can be used for all types of tea without retaining flavors when you switch types. It can be used with just a couple ounces up to 24, but 10 – 12 seems to work really great. The leaf floats free in the water if you don’t push the plunger, which I never do. The lid holds in the heat while steeping and the stainless steel strainer keeps the leaf out of your cup. It does not leak like a reverse press. Clean up is easy. My favorite part is that I can see the leaf dancing while steeping. I really have not found a negative point to this method.