Gaiwan, or covered cups, have been used in China since the Ming Dynasty to brew fine teas. In China, gaiwan are considered the preferred method for brewing teas with delicate flavors, such as green and white teas; however, the gaiwan is suitable for any type of tea. The gaiwan consists of a saucer, bowl and lid. It is versatile and can be used in place of a teapot, as a combination teapot/teacup or simply as a drinking cup.