The gaiwan is the most common tool for brewing tea used by actual tea farmers in China. This piece of tea ware is simply a bowl with a saucer and a lid. Gaiwan actually means lidded bowl, and what this tea ware offers in simplicity it also offers in aesthetic. The lid is representative of the sky, the base of the earth, while the bowl is representative of life, the life of plants, animals, humanity. This symbolic representation of our corporeal experience enhances the appreciation and pleasure of the tea brewing experience.
Tea leaves are brewed directly in the gaiwan. When the tea is brewed for the desired time, the liquor is meant to be poured into a fair cup, gong dao bei, pitcher, or cup for further pouring and drinking.