How to Make Oolong with a Gaiwan

Firstly, what is a Gaiwan?

Essentially it’s a lidded tea bowl, however it's far more than the sum of its parts. First conceived in the Ming Dynasty it's perfect for infusing the most delicate and intricate teas. It's particularly suited to Oolong, due to the ability of the leaves to be infused multiple times with a high leaf-to-water ratio (sometimes more than six).


Leaf to Water ratio


Water Temperature & Wash


Multiple Infusions

All in all we recommend at least six infusions to allow the leaf to completely open out and reveal all its complexity.

For black, green and white teas, please infuse at the temperature specified on the product page (or slightly hotter) and far more rapidly. The higher leaf to water ratio means you need to be quick- just a few seconds. But with this method you can infuse the leaf repeatedly before it is exhausted - each infusion should reveal different flavour notes.

We’ve got our own Rare Tea Gaiwan set that comes with everything you need: a Gaiwan teapot and lid, a fine mesh tea strainer, a serving jug to decant the perfectly infused tea into, and six small tasting cups if you’re in the mood to share.

Rare Tea
Gaiwan Set

The perfect tool for Oolong

Here's a film we’ve made to show you how to use it:

There’s a great saying, told to us by one of our oldest and beloved farmers in Anxi, about oolong:

“The first infusion is for your enemy, the second for your servant, the third infusion is for your wife and the fourth is for your mistress. The fifth is for your business partner - because business is more important than pleasure, and the sixth you keep for yourself.”

Lastly, please have fun experimenting - and if you have any questions please contact us. We'd be happy to help with any questions you might have.