The gaiwan method is good for more than just greens, I realised. And then I found this baby in the cupboard where it had been stuffed in a tin and forgotten about. I’ve had it before, brewed western style. I wasn’t sure how much leaf to use, but I winged it and used too little. I can’t remember much about other than I was a bit disappointed about how weak it seemed.
Trying it with the gaiwan today. Still not sure how much leaf to use and I couldn’t really judge it on how much space it took up in the gaiwan, because it’s so compressed. So I crossed my fingers and then added a little extra with an thought to the first weak attempt.
I did two pre-steeps of 30-45 seconds each.
First real steep was at 30 seconds It smells like a rainy day. Wet dogs. Also earthy, but a mild sort of earthy. Mostly though, I’m thinking umbrellas and wet dogs.
The flavour is sort of bitterness dissolved in rain water. I definitely used too much leaf here. It’s almost coffee-y and this is NOT a good thing. It really tastes very much like tea that has been served from a pot usually used for coffee.
It’s very disappointing and I just can’t drink this, so out it goes. Good thing about the gaiwan is that it’s actually a very small amount of tea being discarded here.
Second steep was also 30 seconds and I’ve taken about half the leaf out of the gaiwan. That helped. The aroma remains the same, but it’s smoothed out a bit. The taste is earthier and definitely better. But it’s still a bit bitter, and not really…
Well, it’s drinkable, okay?
I kind of wish I could try to recreate the traditional tibetan way of brewing here, but since danish grocery stores don’t stock yak butter, that’s not possible. Maybe I’ll try an approximation with cow butter later on, but I’m not promising anything.
For the moment I’m not really terribly impressed, but it does have a certain win-factor in being a compressed pu-erh. Never had that before.