The Gaiwan (Mandarin for covered cup, "zhong" or “cha chung" in Cantonese) has been used in China since about 1350. It consists of saucer, bowl, and lid which are designed to be used together. First place the tea in the bottom of the Yixing Purple Clay Gaiwan. Pour in enough boiling water to come just under halfway up the cup and immediately drain off by holding the cup and saucer together and using the lid as a strainer to hold back the leaves. Now uncover the leaves and inhale the aroma from the "rinsed" leaves. Next, pour fresh boiling water into the Gaiwan, not directly on to the leaves but down the inside of the cup to set the leaves swirling in the bottom, then drink or pour it to fair cup to make it cooler. Use Yixing Purple Clay Gaiwan is a wonderful brewing method for any kind of tea. As long as you take care with your water temperature and brewing time. Then all that is needed to prepare tea in this style of gaiwan, since the tea can be brewed and drunk from the same vessel. Alternatively, the gaiwan can be used primarily as a teapot and the tea decanted into either a small pitcher or individual tasting cups.