The Gaiwan, also known as Gaibei, has been the traditional vessel for the preparation and enjoyment of tea in China since the Ming Dynasty in 1350. The Gaiwan consists of a saucer, a spherical cup and a cover.
The cover of the Gaiwan is used to cover the teacup to keep the temperature and also serves as a filter to block the tea leaves when pouring or drinking from the Gaiwan.
A Gaiwan can therefore replace a tea cup for drinking tea, but it also serves as a substitute for the teapot for preparation of tea in Chinese tea ceremony.
This Gaiwan is handmade from high quality celadon porcelain. The glaze was being burned in a special process which gives the Gaiwan a unique crackled surface structure.