Blue White Gaiwan
Fu Lu 福祿

A classic Chinese Gaiwan, used for brewing and drinking tea, in the beloved blue and white Qinghua style. Made in Jingdezhen, the birthplace of porcelain, this Gaiwan is inscribed with handpainted lyrics on love sickness from San Zi Ling (三字令; "Three Word Tune") by the Tang Dynasty poet Ouyang Jiong (896-971) in a bold calligraphic script.
Product Gaiwan
Origin Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China
Dimensions Ø8.5cm x 7.1cm
Volume 100ml
Weight 160g
Material Porcelain
Decoration 人不在,燕空歸,負佳期。


Each item is handmade and unique, therefore colour and brushstokes will vary slightly

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The birthplace of porcelain, Jingdezhen has been producing the finest Chinese ceramics for over a thousand years and was home to some of China’s most important imperial kilns. Surrounded by breathtaking nature in the northeastern corner of Jiangxi province, the remoteness of the small city has helped preserve age-old traditions that are still in practice to this day. When Europeans first encountered Chinese porcelain back in the 14th century, they concluded that this ethereal yet solid "white gold" could only have been made by magic. The secret? Kaolin: the soft white clay essential to manufacturing porcelain, named after the Gaoling mountain in Jingdezhen where this resource was available in abundance.


The Gaiwan (literally "lidded bowl") is a classic piece of Chinese teaware used to infuse tea leaves, particularly large leaf oolong, green and white teas. Made from a variety of materials including porcelain, glass or Yixing clay, the Gaiwan consists of a small bowl and lid, with or without a matching saucer, and can be used as both a brewing and drinking vessel. Developments in tea ritual and preparation during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) gave rise to the Gaiwan and it is still widely used across China today in domestic as well as formal settings, such as in Gongfu tea ceremonies and tastings. Gaiwan make for exceptionally fragrant infusions owing to their curved shape and open design that amplifies the aroma. Those made of fine porcelain help absorb the heat in a way that doesn’t shock or damage the tea leaves, resulting in a mellower brew.


Probably the most recognised and enduring of ceramic styles, blue and white pottery, known as Qinghua in Chinese (literally "blue flowers/patterns") was a revolutionary product in 14th century Jingdezhen. Traces of blue and white wares can be found as far back as the Tang dynasty (618-907) but it wasn’t until the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) that potters in Jingdezhen perfected the clay and firing technology, which allowed for the mass production of quality Qinghua. The key ingredient in the vibrant blue hue is cobalt oxide: one of the very few pigments that can withstand the high firing temperatures of porcelain. This remarkably stable pigment was initially imported from Persia and is applied under the glaze before baking. Although blue and white wares came to be produced elsewhere in China — and around the world! — those from Jingdezhen are prized for their unmatched craftsmanship.

How to Use

Preparing tea in a Gaiwan is simple, but to handle it carefully may require some practice.

• First, preheat the utensils: pour hot water into the Gaiwan bowl, transferring the water into teacups if desired, then discard the water.
• Next, add the tea leaves to the bowl: around 20% full for stronger teas and up to 60% for more delicate teas.
• Slowly pour hot water over the leaves to just below the brim, then stir the leaves a little with the lid before using it to close the Gaiwan. Allow the tea to steep.
• When ready, slightly angle the lid to create a small gap, then hold the bowl at the edges with one hand while keeping the lid secure with your index finger to pour the tea into cups or a Chahai tea pitcher, or simply drink straight from the Gaiwan, using the lid to block the leaves.

If the tea is suitable for multiple infusions, don’t miss out on a second or third brew! For each subsequent brew make sure the water is a little hotter and the steep time shorter to get the most out of the leaves.


The practical porcelain Gaiwan is very easy to care for and can simply be hand washed with warm water and liquid detergent after use. Unlike unglazed ceramics, such as Yixing clay, glazed porcelain does not absorb odours or flavours and so can be used with different teas each time.

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