(loose leaf, not bag, bought from the bulk dry goods canisters, not in a retail tin)

Usually I keep this around for hot toddies, iced tea with lemon and sugar, or head colds that need lemon and honey.

But, I’ve been helping a friend shop for ceramic tea storage and when one has spent the morning drooling over hand made, artisan pottery, one needs a reality check. Also, I’m trying to empty my cupboard as much as I can in order to justify a few orders of extremely fine teas from some unusual vendors (and probably also VT which isn’t all that unusual, especially for the Steepster crowd) and I need to use this up along with everything else.

Why are all the gaiwan I see in China low and wide and all the gaiwan I see for sale in the USA (even online) tall and narrow? I have big hands. Really big hands. I want a low, wide gaiwan that will fit my hand better. Any suggestions would be welcome on this front. Plus, I just think the aesthetic works better with those proportions.

Anyway, this tea. What is there to say, really? Assam based, blended, RTC processing, industrialized brand name, it isn’t going to be a religious experience now, is it?

But let’s face it. We’re not always in the mood for the gentle caress of tiguanyin or the exotic breezes of an aged sheng. Sometimes you want a tea that’s going to use your epiglottis as a speed bag and will simply WAKE YOU UP. Those mornings you wake up and you realize you could actually sing Barry White in the correct octave.This is the tea for those occasions.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Spoonvonstup

Hmm- good question on the gaiwan. I will keep my eyes open for something for large hands (mine are ridiculously small, so I’m used to searching in vain for the other end of the spectrum).
Did your ceramic tea storage search turn up anything nice? I’ve been looking for quite some time, not very seriously, without much success.

Alos :) Barry White!

Bonnie

I think Butiki’s might be bigger…take a look. I think they are 12 ouncers too. The thought of a Chanter sounding like Barry White is a crack-up! I did hear an Antiochian Priest who was serving in Russia for so many years that he had learned to sing ina beautiful Basso Profundo voice that was amazing.

Jim Marks

I don’t mean bigger as in more volume, only bigger in terms of proportions. If you look at David’s youtube videos where he uses a gaiwan, his is wide and low, but still only 4 or 5 ounces in volume. But everything I see in the USA looks like this:

http://camellia-sinensis.com/accessorie/fiche/Green+gaiwan

same volume, but totally different shape — which I find hard to hold.

Isn’t a Butiki a kind of lizard? What am I looking for?

As for ceramic storage, there are good choices at Camellia Sinensis (Canadian shop), Red Blossom and Tao of Tea.

Spoonvonstup

Thanks for the recommendations.

Butiki = Butiki Teas, I think.

David’s gaiwan are much bigger than most you see for sale- he even had some of similar size available at the end of last year when Verdant was selling teaware (I picked up one of the teeny small ones).

A quick search didn’t turn up much that was definitely wide. Have you seen this?
http://www.mightyleaf.com/teaware_infuser-mugs/brown-gaiwan/
Not a gaiwan, but definitely a wide, flat size, that would work like a gaiwan.

I’ll keep looking around. Other options might be to e-mail Verdant or even Mandala Tea. Verdant could theoretically have a gaiwan left in stock?… Garret at Mandala doesn’t always put all of his teawares up on his website, and if he doesn’t have anything that fits your needs, he might be able to bring one in. From what I remember, both Garret also has large hands.

Jim Marks

I’ve spoken to David about his. They aren’t as big as you might think — or rather, the ones you see for sale here aren’t as small as you’d think by comparison, in terms of interior volume. From what I could gather, he neither had any more to sell nor knew of an “obvious” place to get the low, wide style.

There’s another site that sells extremely high end artisan ceramics that has devices like the one to which you’ve linked here, they had a long word to name them which doesn’t even have a Wiki entry 0_o !

A nice idea, but I like the gaiwan for drinking out of more than steeping in. I could, I suppose, drink from something with a spout, but that seems a bit uncivilized, somehow.

If I’m buying fine ceramics, it is more for the aesthetic than anything else. I have highly functional, ugly steeping gear. :-)

Bonnie

Uh I thought Butiki’s were wider too not just larger. Sorry.
I’d ask David where he got it. He’s very good at sharing information and will let you know within a day or two. He never see’s these requests as a bother at all.

Jim Marks

Yeah, 12 ounces is a lot to brew at once. The more serious I get with all this, the smaller and smaller I find myself brewing.

Maybe I’ll just pinch pennies and get a yixing or four over the next six months and give up the gaiwan altogether.

Spoonvonstup

:D I totally agree with you re: aesthetics (and regarding the spout, if you’re using it as a drinking vessel).

If I ever fin something nice, I will be sure to send you a PM.

Jim Marks

Sweet. Thanks.

Charles Thomas Draper

Another great review! What extremely fine teas are you buying and who are the unusual vendors? Have you tried EBay for gaiwans? I have purchased some very cool antique tea cups.

Jim Marks

No, I haven’t looked at eBay. I suppose I should.

I’ll probably order from Verdant (the not so unusual to us), Camellia Sinensis (Canada), and maybe also Red Blossom, Tao of Tea, Jas-etea and… there are more. I’m on my work machine because I’m at the Mini dealership finding out what the heat heave on Gasmer Blvd did to may car so I don’t have all my bookmarks. I’ll try to remember to put up the full list later.

Charles Thomas Draper

I highly recommend Red Blossom and JasE Tea. You recommended Camellia Sinenis to me before and they have some very unique teas….

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Spoonvonstup

Hmm- good question on the gaiwan. I will keep my eyes open for something for large hands (mine are ridiculously small, so I’m used to searching in vain for the other end of the spectrum).
Did your ceramic tea storage search turn up anything nice? I’ve been looking for quite some time, not very seriously, without much success.

Alos :) Barry White!

Bonnie

I think Butiki’s might be bigger…take a look. I think they are 12 ouncers too. The thought of a Chanter sounding like Barry White is a crack-up! I did hear an Antiochian Priest who was serving in Russia for so many years that he had learned to sing ina beautiful Basso Profundo voice that was amazing.

Jim Marks

I don’t mean bigger as in more volume, only bigger in terms of proportions. If you look at David’s youtube videos where he uses a gaiwan, his is wide and low, but still only 4 or 5 ounces in volume. But everything I see in the USA looks like this:

http://camellia-sinensis.com/accessorie/fiche/Green+gaiwan

same volume, but totally different shape — which I find hard to hold.

Isn’t a Butiki a kind of lizard? What am I looking for?

As for ceramic storage, there are good choices at Camellia Sinensis (Canadian shop), Red Blossom and Tao of Tea.

Spoonvonstup

Thanks for the recommendations.

Butiki = Butiki Teas, I think.

David’s gaiwan are much bigger than most you see for sale- he even had some of similar size available at the end of last year when Verdant was selling teaware (I picked up one of the teeny small ones).

A quick search didn’t turn up much that was definitely wide. Have you seen this?
http://www.mightyleaf.com/teaware_infuser-mugs/brown-gaiwan/
Not a gaiwan, but definitely a wide, flat size, that would work like a gaiwan.

I’ll keep looking around. Other options might be to e-mail Verdant or even Mandala Tea. Verdant could theoretically have a gaiwan left in stock?… Garret at Mandala doesn’t always put all of his teawares up on his website, and if he doesn’t have anything that fits your needs, he might be able to bring one in. From what I remember, both Garret also has large hands.

Jim Marks

I’ve spoken to David about his. They aren’t as big as you might think — or rather, the ones you see for sale here aren’t as small as you’d think by comparison, in terms of interior volume. From what I could gather, he neither had any more to sell nor knew of an “obvious” place to get the low, wide style.

There’s another site that sells extremely high end artisan ceramics that has devices like the one to which you’ve linked here, they had a long word to name them which doesn’t even have a Wiki entry 0_o !

A nice idea, but I like the gaiwan for drinking out of more than steeping in. I could, I suppose, drink from something with a spout, but that seems a bit uncivilized, somehow.

If I’m buying fine ceramics, it is more for the aesthetic than anything else. I have highly functional, ugly steeping gear. :-)

Bonnie

Uh I thought Butiki’s were wider too not just larger. Sorry.
I’d ask David where he got it. He’s very good at sharing information and will let you know within a day or two. He never see’s these requests as a bother at all.

Jim Marks

Yeah, 12 ounces is a lot to brew at once. The more serious I get with all this, the smaller and smaller I find myself brewing.

Maybe I’ll just pinch pennies and get a yixing or four over the next six months and give up the gaiwan altogether.

Spoonvonstup

:D I totally agree with you re: aesthetics (and regarding the spout, if you’re using it as a drinking vessel).

If I ever fin something nice, I will be sure to send you a PM.

Jim Marks

Sweet. Thanks.

Charles Thomas Draper

Another great review! What extremely fine teas are you buying and who are the unusual vendors? Have you tried EBay for gaiwans? I have purchased some very cool antique tea cups.

Jim Marks

No, I haven’t looked at eBay. I suppose I should.

I’ll probably order from Verdant (the not so unusual to us), Camellia Sinensis (Canada), and maybe also Red Blossom, Tao of Tea, Jas-etea and… there are more. I’m on my work machine because I’m at the Mini dealership finding out what the heat heave on Gasmer Blvd did to may car so I don’t have all my bookmarks. I’ll try to remember to put up the full list later.

Charles Thomas Draper

I highly recommend Red Blossom and JasE Tea. You recommended Camellia Sinenis to me before and they have some very unique teas….

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I am rarely, if ever, active here. But I do return from time to time to talk about a very special tea I’ve come across.

You can hear the music I compose here:
http://jimjohnmarks.bandcamp.com

I have a chapter in this book of popular philosophy
http://amzn.com/0812697316

I blog about cooking here https://dungeonsandkitchens.wordpress.com

I blog about composing music and gardening here
http://jimjohnmarks.wordpress.com

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