Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

91

I got my gaiwan a few months ago, but I’ve been waiting to use it. I’m not exactly sure why to be honest—I think I was waiting for the “right tea” to break it in. One that would benefit from gaiwan-style brewing but wasn’t high maintenance enough for me to worry about totally ruining the steep. As soon as I sniffed the dry leaves for this, I knew it was the right choice to start out my gaiwan journey! I’m sure it isn’t at all typical to brew a chai this way, but I thought it would be interesting to see what flavors came out on different steeps.

I have a tiny gaiwan, it holds maybe 4 ounces? It’s tiny, and really meant for one person, but I split all the steeps for this with the bf. I thought it would be a fun little tea adventure to do together, even if it meant only tasting half of an already small steep. It came with a cute little set so I had a strainer (since I am not adept at holding the lid right, this was a godsend!) and a pitcher to hold water. It also has tasting cups, but they are REALLY small and the gaiwan makes 4 so I just used smaller mugs. Oh, and there’s a tea tongs holder shaped like a hand… it’s kind of weird, but I don’t have tea tongs so it’s really just decorative.

Steep 1: This steep was a bit bitter, probably because I only did one rinse on the leaves. I wasn’t exactly sure how many it would need and didn’t want to take away too much of the flavor. This was a very oolong-y steep, with pretty much no spice or chocolate to be found, but still tasty! A bit mineral, and I think the vanilla came through.

Steep 2: The chocolatey-ist steep, rich and creamy. It’s caramelly and malty, very rich, with hints of cocoa and honey.

Steep 3: Spicy! I don’t know if there is any pepper in here (I don’t think so, yet mysteriously I taste it), but that is what this steep tastes like. It’s not heat from the ginger, but is warmer and tangier. The chocolate plays a supporting role, and the floral notes were also prominent. I think this was my favorite steep, it has a good balance of everything.

Steep 4: This steep was ginger all the way. Very strong and pungent, with a nice bite. I can taste a bit of the saffron on this steep, adding an almost savory quality to it. It was also quite buttery with a nice hint of cocoa, my second favorite steep.

Steep 5: I think I didn’t let this one brew for long enough, since it was a bit weak yet I’m sure I didn’t run through all the possible brews yet. It had, you know, that generic tea taste but none of the spicy/chocolate notes from previous steeps. Okay, but not my favorite.

I have the used leaves cold brewing in the fridge, so hopefully I’ll be able to pull a lot of use out of these leaves! I’m sure I could have done twice as many steeps, but 5 took about half an hour and I was all tea’d out. It was such fun though, really interesting to go through all the steeps. I have to admit I played it a bit fast and loose with steep times: they were probably between 15 seconds to 2 minutes each. I know, I should pay more attention, but I tried to keep this tea session relaxed. I think it was a great success!

EDIT: Totally forgot to update how this was cold brewed! Well, it was definitely… unique. Not in a bad way, but I got a very strong sage flavor backed up by the ginger that made me think of Thanksgiving dinner. By this point the chocolate was all gone but it was still quite a refreshing cup.

Fjellrev

Nice review!

Alphakitty

Thanks! ^^ Verdant teas always seem to inspire long reviews!

Fjellrev

I’ll admit that I’m really bad at re-steeping, especially chai. After a whole pot of the first steep, I always want to move onto something else. But when you’re steeping 4 oz. at a time, that must make it more manageable. Glad that you started your gaiwan adventure!

Bonnie

You had a good time with your tea and shared it which is the best way. Your little set sounds nice too. I think I’ll try the little finum basket method with this later.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Comments

Fjellrev

Nice review!

Alphakitty

Thanks! ^^ Verdant teas always seem to inspire long reviews!

Fjellrev

I’ll admit that I’m really bad at re-steeping, especially chai. After a whole pot of the first steep, I always want to move onto something else. But when you’re steeping 4 oz. at a time, that must make it more manageable. Glad that you started your gaiwan adventure!

Bonnie

You had a good time with your tea and shared it which is the best way. Your little set sounds nice too. I think I’ll try the little finum basket method with this later.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!

Location

New York

Website

http://www.plastikitty.com/

Following These People