The Difference Between a Tea Pot and a Gaiwan

This spring Lake Missoula Tea Company looked at the differences between western style brewing with a tea pot versus using a gaiwan, or gong fu style brewing.  The latter can be thought of as eastern style brewing.  I could rehash a comparison, but in our research to describe the differences, we came across a great article.  I highly recommend reading the article Gongfu- (Eastern-) versus Western-Style Tea Brewing — What’s better?  hosted by

The author makes two two strong points between eastern and western style of tea brewing.

One, if you don’t have a lot of tea or time, use a tea pot (western style).  You will use less tea and time and make more tea.  You can sip and savor your cup of tea.  Or, if don’t have time to sit and sip, take your tea on the go with you if needed.

Two, if you have time and want to experience the changes in tea with subsequent steeps, take the gonfu (eastern style) approach.  You will use more tea and take more time.  You will brew small amounts at a time, adding more time to each additional steeping.  Taking this tea on the go isn’t practical, but is fun to have with friends and is more hands on.

So, if you have time and want a hands on approach to drinking tea, go eastern style.  Or, if you have errands to run and work to do, make a pot of tea and take it with you, the western style way.

Heather Kreilick

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