Month of Tea Brewing 2017 – Day #18
Also known as Long Jing
Dragonwell is one of the most famous Chinese green teas. The origin is in the West Lake area of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. The distinctive flattened shape is created by heating the fresh leaves in a hot wok to stop oxidation – preserving the green color – and at the same time, pressing them flat against the surface of the wok to flatten them.
Beginning Brewer Note:
When I first started brewing whole leaf teas, the Gaiwan did not make sense to me. it felt awkward in my hand and made me feel like a klutz. I frequently lost control of the lid and spilled more tea than I served. And this usually happened when I was trying to impress another tea lover. Very embarrassing. But I realized that it was an important skill to master and learned that there are very different quality gaiwans. My first few were poorly made and the lids did not fit well enough to tip them back to serve without making a mess.
So it wasn’t just me!
My white gaiwan now feels like the most elegant and perfect way to brew and serve whole leaf tea. And they are usually very much appreciated gifts to give the serious tea sipper.
Enjoy a sip! . . . Babette
During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), tea brewing and sipping evolved from being brewed and consumed from a simple bowl – chawan – to a lidded bowl called a gaiwan. The two-piece set eventually became a three-piece set with a saucer. The saucer supports the bowl from tipping and is designed to hold the lid wedged in the side during tea preparation. The saucer, in addition to supporting the bowl, is usually used when sipping.
There are several ways in which the gaiwan is used to prepare and drink tea.