|Photo: In Pursuit of Tea|
In Taiwan and China, teas sometimes served Gong Fu style. Successive brews of loose tea are poured into small ceramic tasting cups to be shared and appreciated with friends. This ceremonial drinking style is meant to focus our attention on the sensory experience of the tea and to relax the mind. Pitchers such as this one are used when brewing tea using a yixing teapot or gaiwan. It is often called a fair cup because it is used to distribute the tea equally into each cup. The tea is decanted into the pitcher to ensure that the taste will taste the same. If it were poured directly from the pot, each cup could have a different taste due to variances in steeping time.
I ordered the handless version of this pitcher because I loved its simple lines. It pairs beautifully with my gaiwan, which is also white but with blue accents, without taking away from its beauty. This pitcher is actually slightly smaller than my yixing teapot but that is quickly remedied by pouring a cup or two before filling the pitcher. The mouth is just three fingers wide so I do have to have to be cautious when I am cleaning it.
You can find out more about this pitcher here.