Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be aware of my somewhat lacklustre attempts to curtail my teaware habit.
In a not so surprising move, I’ve been at it again.
For some time now I’ve wanted a glass gaiwan.
When you read reviews one thing tends to crop up rather often, namely their heat handling characteristics, which can make steeping teas that require boiling or close to boiling water a potentially painful procedure.
On the other hand, people tend to buy them to showcase a green or a white tea, which of course utilise water at a significantly lower temperature.
I ran across this 100ml capacity gaiwan during a recent tea purchasing session at House of Tea and rather predictably caved in to temptation.
Here I’m putting it through its paces with some Huo Shan Huang Ya, a yellow tea (review in the pipeline).
The water I was using was at 80°C, and as long as I followed the usual gaiwan sane usage practice of keeping the water level away from the gaiwan’s rim, then there was no problem with scorched or burnt fingertips.
People often note that the lid button on a glass gaiwan can have problems with overheating, but I didn’t experience this.
In fact, the only minor niggle I have with this gaiwan is that being colourblind I had a spot of bother accurately judging the gap between lid and bowl when decanting the tea, but obviously this is a problem with my eyesight rather than the gaiwan itself.
In any case, any quibbles quickly pale into insignificance once you begin steeping the tea and watch the dance of the leaves as they awaken and do their thing in the tea water.
Having said that, I think I’ll play it safe and only use this gaiwan with the yellows, greens, and whites, which after all are the finer, prettier leaves, i.e. the ones you’ll want to show off in all their glory.
Can I now categorically say that I’m done with teaware purchasing? Probably. Possibly.
Our local tea shop does have a 150ml yixing teapot that might come in handy….