Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review
Finally got a chance to brew this eastern style (short steeps). I wouldn’t have even given it a thought had I not seen Teavivre’s guide to brewing Keemun tea, where they used a clay teapot for short steeps. Unfortunately I don’t have one of those for black tea, but I do have a gaiwan.
Drinking from the first steep, I’m picking up on very strong tea flavour, notes of floral, pungent, malty, and a hint of smokey. Drinking again, there is caramel, spices, baked apple notes. Truly a delightful experience for my senses.
Second up tastes quite the same. Here I enjoyed the heavy tea body more.
Third cup had a change in flavour; a bit less smooth black tea body and more malty astringency. There is also a velvety texture, deep rich flavour with wonderful pungent body in my cup.
Fourth cup had another noticable change in flavour. Still nice flavour, but the tea body is becoming more mellow now. The spices notes are becoming more bolder, especially pepper and cinnamon.
Fifth cup had a much stronger smoky flavour. Tea body is becoming more mild but still flavourful. Not bland at all.
Ending on the sixth cup, the flavour is still good, but becoming less interesting. I think I can taste my original water, which is usually a good indication of where to stop. If I were a Keemun fanatic I could resteep again, but I am satisfied ending here.
This was quite a nice experience given the fact that I am dealing with broken leaf. I prefer this short steep method mostly because I use more leaf and less water than western style. This allows me to brew some very aromatic and bold cups of tea.
Up’d my rating because short steeping this tea has been a more enjoyable experience.
Personally I love the strong pungent flavour that brews from the 2 tsp of leaves I used. But if you do not like such bold tea, I recommend 1 tsp.
100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, (rinse, 30s, +10s resteeps)
Please note that if you use a gaiwan, I recommend using a tea strainer over your teacup or “fair cup”. And by strainer I don’t mean those big infusers. (If you’re not sure what I mean, check google images)
Unwanted tea advice: I think that if you love drinking unflavoured tea often, it’s worth buying a gaiwan to enjoy the experience of short steeping tea. (I paid like $10 for a gaiwan and 4 cups in Toronto. So your gaiwan purchase does not have to be expensive to be good!)