I steeped this 3 times, and it was so good; I didn’t know tea could taste like this!
Before I say though, I looked more closely at the brewed leaves today, and they are such a nice even green (sometimes I’ve seen in other teas bits of stem or other parts of the leaf that shouldn’t have gotten in there; or, the roasting was done more unevenly and so there are more browned leaves in there, etc.). This tea is not that – almost all of it is made of whole leaves and the color is a very nice, even tone.
The first steeping (140 for almost 2 mins) and second steeping (160 for 1 min 20 seconds) were like a wave.
The front of the wave (or underside) hit with a little pleasant bitterness (young flavor).
The ‘crest’ of the wave was just a moment when the bitterness quickly transformed into sweetness. The best way I can describe it is exactly what I was thinking as I drank it – it tasted like the burnt sugar on the top of creme brulee. A bitterness that gave way to an intense sugary sweetness. This sweetness was not a sickening or rich sweetness, but more like a very thin layer of deliciousness. It REALLY surprised me, as it seemed to come out of nowhere.
The top side of the wave (or back) was a rich umami flavor. That sudden, sweet flavor quickly gave way to this, which filled my mouth.
The third steeping was also pretty incredible. As soon as I tasted it, the first flavor it reminded me of was baked ham. I didn’t believe it at first, I thought my tastebuds were being affected by something else, but I tried it again and again, and both times it tasted like ham or greens cooked in bacon. Almost as if you could eat it.
My description here is certainly stronger than it actually was; meaning, it still tasted like tea. I imagine reading a description of ham-tasting tea sounding disgusting. But it wasn’t, it really just tasted like pure richness.