Lotus Tea Cup Gaibai
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This should make the hearts of every discerning tea drinker jump higher, but before we go there, a little introduction: High quality Chinese teas are prepared in a very special way, the cup is heated with water, then emptied, then the leaves are added, hot water next, but immediately poured out again, then another batch of hot water, then steep, then drink. This can be done in a pot and a small cup, or in what's either called a Gaiwan or Gaibei – a cup with a lid.
Now drinking from a cup with a lid is a tricky challenge, because the lid isn't taken off, it is simply moved slightly to make sure the tealeaves stay inside, you wouldn't want to suck on those. We've tried it many times and every once in a while we succeed, but more often we don't.
This is where the Lotus cup comes in. It looks like every traditional teacup should, but for starters it's double walled, so a) you won't burn your hands and b) your tea won't cool off as fast. Secondly its sliding lid is a beautiful piece of high tech, as it is truly integrated into the lid and all you do is you slide a separate piece up and you are ready to enjoy your tea. Simply stunning.
Now, if you aren't into fancy tea drinking ceremonies and just want to enjoy your morning or afternoon tea, well, it works just as well for that, just don't use the fancy lid and you are good to go. If you do like the Chinese way though, you'll greatly appreciate the Lotus even more!