Gaiwan or Yixing


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

What should I buy for prepairing oolong?

Gaiwan
25
74%
Yixing pot
9
26%
 
Total votes : 34

Gaiwan or Yixing

Postby Space Samurai » Feb 15th, '07, 04:19

I am about to jump into the fabulous world of oolong. I was going to wait, but I just tried some tung ting, and it opened my eyes to what I have been missing.

So now I need a new tea pot. What should I buy? I have been wanting a gaiwan for a while, but would it be better to brew oolong in a yixing pot?
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Postby Mary R » Feb 15th, '07, 10:31

Yo, Space!

My vote was for 'gaiwan,' particularly if you're going to be trying a wide variety of oolongs. They have range, and I'm not sure a yixing used primarily for more those jade-like would do well for the higher oxidized and vice versa.

Then again, I don't use yixing yet. Just speculating!

-M
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Postby Space Samurai » Feb 15th, '07, 13:11

I am fairly certain that it is pronounced guy-juan, like, "You know that guy, Juan, who works in Dairy?"
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Re: Gaiwan is pronounced??

Postby Oolongaddict » Feb 15th, '07, 13:53

jamlover wrote:I have seen the pronounciation of the pot on the web___ how do you say gawan?


I think it depends on the dialect of Chinese. A friend of mine from Taiwan pronounces it as "guywar." Others from the mainland that I have met pronounce it as "gai waan" or something similar. I'm sure as one meanders through the various dialects, one will find there is no ubiquitous, standard pronunciation.
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Re: Gaiwan or Yixing

Postby Oolongaddict » Feb 15th, '07, 14:04

spacesamurai wrote:I am about to jump into the fabulous world of oolong. I was going to wait, but I just tried some tung ting, and it opened my eyes to what I have been missing.

So now I need a new tea pot. What should I buy? I have been wanting a gaiwan for a while, but would it be better to brew oolong in a yixing pot?


I would start using a gaiwan, especially one made from celadon or porcelain. As someone on this thread previously stated, having a gaiwan handy is excellent for trying different kinds of oolongs. I also like versatility and easy clean up when it comes to brewing and drinking my tea. Usually, I drink my teas directly from the gaiwan. If I am working at my desk or walking throughout my apartment while drinking tea, it is easier to carry around my gaiwan than to have to lug around a pot, or having it take up space on my work station.

Once you have found your "holy grail" (my term for a favorite blend of tea), then I would think about getting a Yixing teapot. Or, get the best of both worlds and invest in a Yixing gaiwan. There's a reason why I suggest this though. Yixing clay is very porous, absorbing the flavors and aromas of liquids poured into it. Many tea connoisseurs don't like using a Yixing vessel for many different types of tea. Therefore, they will use a Yixing pot or gaiwan for one specific kind of tea.

Again, my motto is this - do what is most favorable to your tastes, eschewing what many "high standard" connoisseurs will suggest. You don't need a Yixing pot manufactured by blind Buddhist monks in order to enjoy oolongs. I've been drinking oolongs for several years now, and I don't even own one piece of Yixing pottery (I find them to be superfluous since I love trying different kinds of tea).

And welcome to the world of oolongs, by the way. :D I often call oolongs the "snowflakes of tea." You'll find that like wine tasting, no two batches, or in some cases, no two cups, are the same.
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Postby Libertatis » Feb 15th, '07, 15:01

I voted for Gaiwan, because i use it the most, but i must admit i have a special yixing put that i only use for Ali Shan oolong. I prefer to brew my Ali Shan in the yixing pot, but for all other teas i use a gaiwan.

There are a number of places you can find gaiwans on the internet, how much you spend depends on the style you want. I own several gaiwans, but I recently picked up a nice simple white porcelain Gaiwan at the Seattle Teacup (i have a friend who works there) for ~$12. I don't see Gaiwan's on their website, but if you were to send them an email asking about them i'm sure they would mail you one (there would be a small shippng charge of course).
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Re: Gaiwan or Yixing

Postby Salsero » Feb 15th, '07, 15:02

Oolongaddict wrote: Usually, I drink my teas directly from the gaiwan.


Oolong addict:

Doesn't your tea get bitter and astringent if you leave it in the Gaiwan while you drink? Is it just greens you drink right out of the gaiwan? I always decant to a small cup before drinking, but it would be nice to skip the decanting.

Also, I second your opinion that a gaiwan is best if you're drinking a wide variety of teas. Most of the internet gurus seem to brew a new tea in a gaiwan for a while before they use yixing, both to protect the pot from unknown teas and to protect the tea from flavors accumulated in the pot during previous brews.
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Re: Gaiwan or Yixing

Postby Oolongaddict » Feb 15th, '07, 16:19

Salsero wrote:
Oolongaddict wrote: Usually, I drink my teas directly from the gaiwan.


Oolong addict:

Doesn't your tea get bitter and astringent if you leave it in the Gaiwan while you drink? Is it just greens you drink right out of the gaiwan? I always decant to a small cup before drinking, but it would be nice to skip the decanting.

Also, I second your opinion that a gaiwan is best if you're drinking a wide variety of teas. Most of the internet gurus seem to brew a new tea in a gaiwan for a while before they use yixing, both to protect the pot from unknown teas and to protect the tea from flavors accumulated in the pot during previous brews.


Greens I decant immediately, mostly due to the thinness of the leaves. I seem to have a habit of drinking my teas quite fast, and my gaiwan that I use for most of my oolongs is quite small compared to some of my other ones. It also depends on the tea. Third grade TGYs, I don't bother to decant. But if it is monkey picked, or a nice Buddha Palm, it finds itself into a tasting cup.
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Postby Proinsias » Feb 15th, '07, 19:27

Doesn't your tea get bitter and astringent if you leave it in the Gaiwan while you drink?

If I have very little time I occasionally put a few leaves into my smallest gaiwan, light oolong or green, pour about a 1/4 full of cooler than usual water leave for a few moments and then top up. I find I can then sip from the gaiwan and get 2 or 3 top ups without the tea going bitter or me having to drink to fast. If i'm using large rolled leaf oolong I would only place four or five leaves in*.

This is by no means the best way to enjoy the tea but it keeps me going 'till my next proper hit.If you do prepare the tea properly at other times this method should give you enough of the flavour for you to fill in the blanks in your head and put a smile on your face.

Oh, and my vote went for the gaiwan. Brewing, cleaning and versatility make it a must. My yixing pots feel negleted and some don't get used for weeks, or months, on end whereas the gaiwans are in constant use. My da hong pao dedicated yixing also makes me feel guilty whenever I see it for not spending excessive amounts of money to fill it with worthy tea.

Finally a gaiwan is a minature, traveling tea set (if you have a cheap one you don't mind losing).


*I think I whipped this trick from Kam's website funalliance
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Postby MarshalN » Feb 16th, '07, 13:59

If you don't have a gaiwan at all... a gaiwan is a must. It's simply the most versatile teaware ever made.
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Against all odds

Postby OT » Feb 16th, '07, 14:12

I would recommend yixing. By using yixing tea pot, you can bring the best out of the oolong tea. Gaiwan gives a more "standard" kinda taste. Personally, i will use gaiwan for puerh or jasmine tea plus a few rose bud...try it
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Postby Chip » Feb 16th, '07, 16:42

...unless you have money to burn...and want to buy a yixing for every oolong that comes down the pike...a gaiwan or for that matter any glazed brewing vessel will be much more useful.

Once you settle into a few favorite oolongs, then invest in some yixing that you can dedicate to individual oolong.

Discover with gaiwan...dedicate with yixing.
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Postby Mary R » Feb 16th, '07, 18:45

So succinct, chip.

Gaiwan wins in a landslide victory!
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