In Lu Xun's essay 《Drinking Tea》, he wrote, "To drink good tea, one must use a "Gaiwan". So I used a "Gaiwan". Sure enough, after brewing, the color was clear and the taste was sweet, with a slight fragrance and a little bitterness, which was indeed good tea." You may wonder why seasoned tea drinkers prefer to use "Gaiwan"s instead of the well-known purple clay teapots.
In fact, purple clay teapots and "Gaiwan"s each have their unique advantages. The advantage of purple clay teapots lies in their good air permeability, but this also means that they are more likely to absorb the aroma of tea leaves, which may lead to the loss of tea fragrance. On the other hand, the glaze protection of "Gaiwan"s can prevent any influence on the taste and aroma of tea leaves. Especially, the "Gaiwan" is more convenient for observing the color of tea water, and cleaning tea residue is also easier than using a teapot.
Among numerous types of "Gaiwan"s, the mutton fat jade Porcelain "Gaiwan" is one of the most outstanding ones in terms of quality. Modern tea experts usually use the mutton fat jade Porcelain "Gaiwan" for tea tasting, precisely because of this reason.
People who delve into the tea ceremony understand that when tasting tea, we pay special attention to "observing the color, smelling the fragrance, tasting the flavor, and admiring the shape." Using tea cups or teapots to brew tea may not be conducive to observing the color and shape, and it is also not easy to adjust the concentration of the tea soup. The shape of a tea cup is straight and tubular, which may cause the tea leaves to be cooked in hot water. This way of drinking tea is convenient, but it loses the elegance of tea tasting. In northern China, it is common to use a large pot to brew tea, but the tea water is easily cold, and the aroma is easily dispersed, which is not enjoyable and may lose the pleasure of drinking tea. Moreover, the longer the tea is brewed, the lower its quality. From the perspective of tea appreciation and health preservation, using large cups or pots to brew tea has obvious shortcomings compared with "Gaiwan"s.
In comparison, the mutton fat jade Porcelain "Gaiwan" has many advantages. It includes a "bowl," a "lid," and a "base," with a unique shape and exquisite craftsmanship. The "bowl" is larger on top and smaller on the bottom, the "lid" can be placed inside the bowl, and the "base" serves as a support at the bottom. When drinking tea, the lid is not easyto slip, and the "base" can prevent scalding of the hands. Just holding the "base" can stabilize the center of gravity, and when drinking tea, it is not necessary to completely uncover the "lid." Instead, it can be half-opened, so that the tea leaves will not enter the mouth, and the tea soup can slowly seep out, providing an enjoyable experience. In addition, the "lid" placed inside the "bowl" can be lightly scraped to make the whole bowl of tea water turn over, making the tea soup more concentrated or diluted, which is very ingenious.
Imagine a gentle breeze carrying the scent of gardenias. You sit on a high-backed redwood chair, holding a set of mutton fat jade Porcelain "Gaiwan"s, and the fragrance of tea seeps out from the bowls. Outside the window is a row of long windows and a pavilion. This is the best time for tea tasting. In a garden, the mutton fat jade Porcelain "Gaiwan" is undoubtedly the most suitable tea-drinking utensil. Moreover, its exquisite appearance and unique design make each tea tasting an enjoyment, an art, and a realization of life.
In summary, whether to choose purple clay teapots or "Gaiwan"s depends on your tea-drinking habits, tea-drinking environment, and personal preferences. In the process of tea tasting, the most important thing is to appreciate the unique experience brought by each type of tea utensil, enjoy the moment of tea fragrance, and the unique peace that can only be experienced when tasting tea.