I just realized I have quite a bit of this tea (by “quite a bit” I mean probably enough for at least 5 more sessions). And I’ve had it for a little over two years now, still in its little sample tin (remember those? Oh I have so, so many of those cute little Adagio sample tins). So naturally it’s a little stale and lost a bit of flavor, but it’s still very comforting right now.
I remember when I was first really, really getting into tea and wanting to show it off to everyone I knew, this was one of my favorites to demonstrate because the leaves are so tightly packed and then unfurl throughout the steepings into nice clusters of big leaves and stems, sometimes four or five whole leaves attached to one stem. It’s pretty impressive and gets a nice reaction from the onlookers. I love taking the leaves out of the gaiwan once they’re spent, and spreading them out on the tray. One of those teas that’s just a lot of fun to play with. I remember in particular a few people asking, after the demonstration, if they could take one of the leaf clusters home. No idea what they planned on doing with them, but it was a good sign they enjoyed the whole experience.
Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a tea brewing demonstration for other people. Good times.