Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?


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Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?

Postby Math » Oct 28th, '11, 12:12

Hey there tea-lovers.

I'm about to finally get myself a gaiwan. The idea was mostly to use it for young sheng but of course other teas as well. What properties should I look for in a gaiwan when looking to brew young sheng pu-erh? Thin or thick walls? Also it would be good if the gaiwan didn't burn my fingers, any ideas on what to look for?

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Math
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Re: Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?

Postby hop_goblin » Oct 28th, '11, 12:20

Anything under 5 years old I use a Gaiwan (with few exceptions). I use the same brewing principles for green tea as I do for young sheng. After all, that is just what it is green tea. :D
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Re: Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?

Postby zhi zheng » Oct 30th, '11, 02:28

Find one that feels comfortable to hold and that is larger than you may think you need - 140ml is a good size even for one person - assuming that you are going to keep a brew going for a while.

Look for one that is comparatively tall - the flatter more squat profile gaiwans tend to suppress the fragrance more. Also, the thicker the porcelain, the more it will retain heat, so depending on your preferences and brewing style i.e. you brew for longer periods of time, you might want to look for one that has thicker walls.
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Re: Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?

Postby Drax » Oct 30th, '11, 06:58

I agree with the suggestion for thick walls to help retain heat while brewing pu'erh. But to be honest, I think that this parameter will not affect the brewing very much.

I have a couple of gaiwans at the 120mL size (4oz) and that size works really well for me as a person who drinks pu'erh alone. I would take size into consideration because you'll often be going 10 steeps, and the size of the gaiwan will drives how much total tea you're drinking over all of those steeps. Hopefully you have some idea of what you prefer (or what you can stand) from previous tea sessions.

As for burning fingers, I think the biggest 'trick' is to make sure that you're not filling the gaiwan to the brim. If you fill the gaiwan to the brim, you have two ways to burn your fingers -- the rim of the gaiwan will be very hot, or hot water/tea will spill out and hit your fingers as you pour out the gaiwan. If you avoid filling the gaiwan to the brim (but still fill), the rim will be warm, but you won't burn your fingers. And... nearly all gaiwans should have this property with their out-turned rims.

Hope that helps...!
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Re: Gaiwan for raw pu-erh: Thick or thin walls?

Postby Math » Oct 30th, '11, 14:39

Thank you a lot for the advice!

Will ponder this and look around.

Any recommendable sources?

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/Math
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