So we’ve already covered the importance of clay when drinking tea, and in the previous post we discussed some important points when investing in Yixing teaware. But how about all the other teaware that’s out there?
There are so many different types of teaware that is available to us, all coming from different regions and designated for various teas. However most tea drinkers who follow Eastern tea drinking practices will agree:
a teapot made of clay will often beat that made of porcelain, glass, or metal.
An important thing to remember when choosing a teapot is the size.
This will vary depending on how many people you wish to serve, but here is a simple guide:
70ml = 1-2 ppl
100ml = 2-4 ppl
175ml = 3-5 ppl
225ml = 4-6 ppl
So what are porcelain and glass teapots best for?
Nowadays most western houses are likely to have either glass or porcelain teaware as this style has become very popular and widespread over the past centuries. By the way, the reason for this being that Chinese porcelain production methods were far more superior to that of Europe at the time (around 15th c), and this porcelain was strong and could endure months at sea needed for its transport.
Although they are not the most favorable for gongfucha, they still have their purpose. Unlike the unglazed Yixing teaware, these can’t absorb any flavor or alter the taste of the tea in any way. That’s why many tea drinkers prefer these for tea tastings or trying out a new tea for the first time. Unlike Yixing teaware, porcelain ones can be used for multiple kinds of teas.
Glass is also a great option if you enjoy watching the process of your tea unfurling. This can also be helpful if you’re new to timing you’re brews.
If you wish to brew green, yellow or white tea a gaiwan is the way to go. These teas have very delicate flavors of their own and are better if the taste is not hindered by the teaware.
Gaiwan are the best suggestion we can give to those new to gongfucha and those purchasing new teaware. They are a bit more efficient and require less care. They are very easy to travel with, especially since the cups can often times be stacked in the gaiwan. And if you are brewing at home you don’t necessarily need a tea tray to capture the brew!