The best oolong tea makes my day.
And see that little white thing on the right?
This is a "gaiwan" - a porcelain saucer, bowl, and lid. It was a gift from Tyler, and it is perfect. Tyler taught me how to make tea using the gaiwan back at Thanksgiving, and I loved it from the start. Now that I have my own, it makes me happy every time! The whole process of making tea this way is therapeutic, somehow.
Tyler could explain it better than I could (he works at Intelligentsia, so he's a pro), but essentially, the principle behind a gaiwan is that some teas will have a fuller and more well-rounded taste if they are steeped in less water, multiple times, at varying lengths of time.
This method of steeping the tea multiple times has been used for thousands of years. Literally, the gaiwan, or the "lidded cup", was used in China all the way back in the 14th century.
The gaiwan is used for more delicate teas, such as green, oolong or white teas. Oolong tea was on the menu today, and the Kilogram brand is my absolute favorite. Seriously, Kilogram's oolong tea is such a treat. Really, all of their teas are incredible.
Indulge me for a moment, and look at those beautiful tea leaves! That's how tea should look! It has so much more flavor when it isn't ground up and put in a teabag. I still drink bagged tea (it's cheaper, and faster), but this is just something completely "other".
Tea makes afternoons working through syllabi and figuring out buying books much better. Thank you, Tyler, for the gaiwan, which makes it even more wonderful!