Said to husband, “I’m about to start quiet tea time…don’t bother me!” Using my gaiwan today. I haven’t quite mastered it, but this tea’s reputation seems to call for something special.
Dry smell: bark, sweet buttery cream, coconut mochi, spice, light cocoa. It smells like dessert.
I love how the dusting of the brown tea fuzz makes everything look like it’s been covered in cocoa.
Steep 1: Hot water hits the leaves. Wow. Such a luscious sweet aroma. The taste is sweet creamy cocoa. Smooth and refined, yet dark and reminiscent of wilderness. Thick mouthfeel. I keep sniffing my cup. It’s fantastic. Non-tea scented air is so plebeian.
Steep 2: Hmm, darker. There’s some spice here…like roots. Still sweet and cocoa-y, but also more savory somehow. Mouthfeel is still brothy, but the moment the liquid moves past my tongue, I feel the effects of astringency. Liking steep #1 more so far. I probably went too long with this steep though. Let’s try again.
Steep 3: Oh my. The caffeine is kicking in. This is why I can’t do gong fu tea more often. Or if only I could convince husband to have tea with me. But the tea! mmmm… this steep is good. not so astringent as the last one. Dark and tastes like bark. Sweet cream and vanilla. Smells like ancient forest.
Steep 4: Last one till later. Something floral now. I’m terrible at recognizing floral scents and flavor except for jasmine and rose. And this is neither. More vanilla and dark spice.
This is a heavy rich tea. Nothing like the light springy green oolongs that i adore. Yet, I still enjoyed this thoroughly. More steeps to come, but my belly feels sloshy. I got a 4oz gaiwan, which produces about a quarter cup of liquid after allowing for the tea leaves and water absorption, but I’m still wishing I had a smaller gaiwan. They don’t seem to come much smaller than this.
Anyway, I’m feeling all warm and alive. Somehow relaxed yet alert. Lovely.
EDIT Here are my lovely tea companions (not imbibing)
Steep 5: Did not record this one while drinking. It was starting to develop that flavor tea gets if the wet leaves stay out too long. But the flavor of the tea underneath is still good. A bit weak, but I will blame that on my steeping time.
Steep 6: Reminds me to dark rye bread. It is a strong tea but the flavors are becoming more subtle now. There is bitterness in the swallow. Almost unpleasant.
Though I had originally wanted a ceramic gaiwan, I must say that this glass one has its charms.
Steep 7: This is, again, light. Reminds me of watered down barley tea. Or toasted rice porridge, which my grandpa was very fond of. This next steep shall be left to develop.
Does anyone else get super thirsty from gong fu sessions? I think I’ve chugged like 2 tall glasses of water since I started this late morning.