Monday, June 23, 2008
Gotta getta guywan
With the Summer Olympics set to begin in China in just a few more weeks, I have my hopes up that some, if not all, of the tea in China will be featured in the TV coverage. You know how the Today Show and others tend to provide lots of "cultural coverage" during the Olympics? Well, I'm counting on them having some segments on China's tea tradition, and looking toward that I have pulled out my trusty guywan.
I first discovered the guywan (sometimes spelled "gaiwan") at The Tea Room in Savannah years ago. A guywan is simply a Chinese covered cup with a saucer. The set is designed to be held together while you use it, which let me tell you, takes some doin'! Basically, you sort of pinch the lid and saucer in your hand (thumb on top) and - with the lid tilted ever so slightly - use it as a strainer to hold back the tea leaves as you sip. Helpful hint: You might try wearing old clothes (and letting your tea cool a bit) when you first experiment with a guywan!
These come in all kinds of designs, but I wanted something that looked Chinese. I've since discovered there are also clear glass guywans, and I think it would be helpful to have one of these because then you could *see* the tea as you are about to spill, I mean "sip," it. Google "guywan" or "gaiwan" and you'll find lots of information about these classic teawares.