Gaiwans / Bowls / Cups

Perhaps the earliest vessel used for drinking tea was not a rounded cup but rather a shallow bowl. In China, this evolved into the gaiwan or "lidded bow." Gaiwans are a most useful vessels seving as cup but also as teapot. Held by the saucer in the right hand, the left fingers hold the lid, keeping back the leaves when sipping. The traditional source for gaiwans and ceramicware of many types is Jingdezhen. Dehua is also known for its pure, milky white ceramics.

In Japan tea is still often drunk from deep earthenware bowls or small shallow cups. The Cha Do or "Way of Tea" uses a deeper bowl inwhich powdered Mat Cha is whisked into a jade froth. Sen Cha or Gyokuro is often sipped from the small flater bowls. Kiyomizu is well known for their fine pottery.