Huzzah! A happy and prosperous new year to you and whoever produced this tea! This was perfect companion to our “leap into the new year” ginger-orange frog cookies. I must admit, the single serving size per tuocha is part of the reason we picked this.
I rinsed the tuocha for 20 seconds into glazed gaiwans. Taking Jenn-cha’s experience into consideration, the third steeping was one minute and thiry seconds (I’m wary of straying from the 2-3 recommendation of Tao of Tea but also 2-3 minutes?!) and lo! Jenn-cha knows more than Tao of Tea! It came out with sweet and complex wood flavors. There’s oddly more oak than rose. But I swear peat moss and turbinado sugar were part of the tuocha! This was so good everyone went right along wtih the “weird” smelling your teacup. The leaf in the teapot smelled bizarrely like seitan, vegan bacon and rose.
The third and fourth steepings were both two mintes and yielded more mellow flavors that crept towards timothy hay and very little rose. The leaf in the pot smells more like damp hay and old straw piles. It was interesting to taste the natural sweetness of the tea and the actual sugar in the gingerbread. I prefer the sugarless tea.
Fifth steeping-At the suggestion of my rose loving mother we added some rose hips to the pot. What the hay? It says four steepings and was wrong about that.
I highly recommend this little addition towards the last couple of infusions because the fruity, strawberry sweet flavors were amazing with the hay and raisin flavors in the tea (and replaced the now undetectable rose petals). It was like drinking a summer day at the horse farm without the barnwork.
Out of curiosity I’m putting the leaf in the fridge overnight to see if it lasts for a sixth infusion tomorrow. Partially out of curiosity and partially because I need sleep.
Edit: Sixth and seventh steepings were weak but still had mellow orchard grass hay, plum, turbinado sugar and walnut tones! Maybe if I don’t wait over night I could get eight steepings with shorter times.