So I’ve been looking forward to this tea since I read about it on Verdant’s website. It sounded so good that I almost got a full ounce of this, but managed to contain myself (just in case) and just get two samples of it. I’ve been wanting to make this tea for awhile, but found that I didn’t have enough time to be able to fully appreciate all of the steepings I was bound to get from this, so I kept putting it off. Finally I decided to go for it since I have a late shift for work the next day so I could possibly stay up late if necessary to drink through this. Lol. Originally I was going to use my new gaiwan for it, but Verdant had western style brewing suggestions on the site and I felt kinda lazy.
I used the one tablespoon per cup recommendation (that’s alot of tea, yeesh), which was exactly what I had in my sample packet. Into my ingenutea it went, followed by 205* water. Then to sit and wait. The following steeping opinions I wrote as I made them over the course of a couple hours. (Yes, I was a slow tea drinker tonight.)
1st steep – 205* / 3min – I can understand the wheat bread descriptions since that’s what I first thought when I opened the sample packet. Kind’ve a grain-y, roasty smell. The steeped leaves have the same smell. For the brew, the same roasty flavor, but this is bordering on more of a burnt flavor. Actually I can’t really get past this to find any other flavors. The burnt taste really overpowers everything else for me, which makes me kinda sad. But hopefully it’ll get better in the second steeping.
2nd steep – 205* / 4.5min – Still roasty, but the burnt flavor has died down quite a bit. Don’t get much more than that roasty flavor still.
3rd steep – 205* / 6min – The roasty flavor is gone mostly, not in your face, but kinda chilling in the background. I’m not quite sure what to think of this third brew really. It’s sweet by itself, but I can’t really associate any particular flavor or impression to it. It’s not a weak tea flavored water. It’s more than that but I can’t figure out what. It’s very frustrating actually.
Originally I had done this for 5.5min, but found it watery and dumped it back in the leaves for a bit longer steep, which came out much better tasting, all things considering.
4th steep – 205* / 8min – So I think this is the last steep I can get from this. I probly should’ve stopped at the 3rd, but I couldn’t resist at least trying. After all, it’s only water I’d be using, not like money or my bottled fairies (kudos if you get the reference). This brew is just slightly roasty in an oolong-ish sort of way, but mostly just watery and getting unpleasantly astringent. I actually might just pour this one out since it’s definitely not appealing to drink at this point. If it weren’t so late I might try just dumping the brew back into the leaves and letting it sit awhile longer. But alas, I have to have a cutoff sometime and quarter past 1 in the morning seems as good of one as any. Lol.
My impressions overall are that I don’t think this one is for me just yet. I’ve decided not to leave a rating on this one since I think my dissatisfaction with this tea might be more my own taste than the tea itself, especially since there’s so many other people here that it’s such a big hit with. Normally I’d probly have rated this a 48 or 49 on my own opinion scale (which is at the higher end of my ‘good to try, won’t reorder’ area), but I feel it’d be unfair to potentially bring the rating down because my taste buds are uncooperative. Lol.
I might try my second sample packet later on down the line to see if I can find the nuances of this better. Or I might just try this with cooler, more oolong temperate water and see if that helps. We’ll see, but for now, this isn’t going on my reorder list.