There are many means and methods used to prepare tea since its inception thousands of years ago. Our modern ceramic teapots, single-serving glass infusers, or large glass Mono pots are ideal for making tea in the English style; ample space gives tea leaves and herbals room to unfurl and release their fullest flavor.
More traditional Asian vessels like our gaiwans and yixing clay teapots are ideal for gongfu cha, a time-honored Chinese and Taiwanese technique that utilizes a high ratio of leaves to water, quick infusions, and multiple successive steepings. The tea is decanted into pitchers or small tasting cups, so drinkers can appreciate the arc of flavor and fragrance from steep to steep.
Matcha preparation involves a host of specialized tools: bamboo whisks, called chasens, and wide ceramic bowls, called chawans, are among the most useful for preparing this unique Japanese powdered tea.