JacquelineM actually inspired me this morning, so after finishing the morning pot of Lapsang Souchong, I switched to this.
I’ve never really managed to get the hang of Dragonwell before and I’ve never really been able to agree with myself on whether or not I like it much. So I was in a weird situation where I had a sort of semi-craving for something that I wasn’t really sure I liked.
What to do, what to do?
It’s not really practical to brew half pots at the time, because I have a tendency to forget that I’m only supposed to fill it half up with water and end up with a totally weakling cup of tea. I don’t really have the brain capacity to do it that way when I know I’ll be steeping it several times. If it’s just the one or two times, it can be done, but more than that and chances are it’ll go wrong at least once.
Cue the little yellow gaiwan that I hardly ever use, because I always spill and/or burn myself. I was feeling brave though, so I brewed in that and carefully decanted after steeping into another little cup. That gave me half a very small cup on each steep which isn’t so much that I’ll give up on the questionable flavour or get too much of it, and it allows me to do a multitude of steeps.
So I’ve been drinking Dragonwell for oh about… let’s see… hmm… about four hours or so. I haven’t got the faintest idea of which steep I’m currently having, the counting got messed up, but JacquelineM totally nailed the primary flavour note when she called it asparagus-y. It’s like with Takgoti and the walnut note in the Pai Mu Tan. I knew it was a well-known clear flavour, very easy to pick up on. I just couldn’t work out what it was.
At this point though, on Steep X, the asparagus-y-ness has diminished quite a lot. It’s not really a flavour that tries to invade and conquer, it’s just sort of there. Much more toned down. The flavour has sort of deepened, if you know what I mean. It’s not as bright and bouncy anymore. It has calmed down and turned darker. Like the difference between brand new leaves on trees at the beginning of spring, and leaves that has been on the tree for half a summer already.
I’m liking these ‘older’ steeps better than the first ones, definitely, so it seems like with this one the gaiwan is the way to go.
As I said, I lost count of what number steep this is, but to give you an idea of how far I’ve approximately come, I’ve become quite good at transferring from gaiwan to cup. I don’t spill every time anymore. And I haven’t burned myself either.
It’s still not a tea that I really see myself drinking a lot of though, so I’ll leave the rating where it is and let first impressions count for this one.