I like to give a couple of flash rinses to those as well. Good luck on finding a gaiwan at a local tea house unless it is an asian tea house. I've had reasonable success in my 550ml tetsubin by placing two mini tou in the basket, they don't have large leaf so it doesn't interfere with leaf expansion, a couple of short rinses, and 2.5 minute initial steep and increasing by .5-1 minute for additional steepings. I don't remember how many steepings I was getting but it was quite a few. No it isn't as good as a gaiwan or good small pot in the 100ml-150ml range but not bad either, like the OP I tried the tea before getting the gear.
Edit: I just used that pot and its 500ml filled to the brim.
Last edited by jwhite; 02-15-2011 at 09:10 AM.
Bearing the burden of responsibility..... It's probably my fault.
Treat your silver as if it were earthenware and your earthenware as if it were silver - Seneca, Letters of a Stoic