76

Despite having purchased a gaiwan months ago, I only used it for the very first time today. I didn’t want to use a tea that was too pricey or short-stocked for my maiden voyage, so I went with this one, which I still have a good 25 grams of after a year in my cupboard.

Using the gaiwan was pretty easy – pretty much the same premise as opening the lid of a pot just enough to drain the cooking water off boiled pasta. I only got a big piece of leaf in my cup once (which is better than my track record with draining pasta). Whittard only has western-style instructions on their site, so I used Teavivre’s gongfu instructions for their Huang Shan Mao Feng as a guide (80 C, 5s rinse, 30/60/90). I started at around 85 C for the rinse.

Rinse (I don’t know if you’re meant to taste this, but I did): butter! Somewhat salty. Mild flavor of some type of cooked greens.

1: Similar to rinse, but more cooked greens & less buttery. Getting some bitterness.

2: I poured this one off after 30s, but it seemed a bit weak, so I poured it back into the gaiwan for another 30s. This made it kind of unpleasantly bitter, like overcooked greens. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go any further after this cup, but…

3: I poured this after 65-70s. Still bitter. Don’t think I’ll go for a fourth.

Obviously my gongfu skills need refining, and this tea is hella old, and I very likely overleafed, but I’m inclined to think my original 91 rating was more of a reflection of my beginner’s enthusiasm than the tea’s quality. It’s probably not a good sign when the rinse is my favorite steep.
And now my head hurts. Dropping the rating like it’s hot.

Flavors: Butter, Kale

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
yyz

That’s too bad. My favourite initial steep time for greens is 45s. I usually increase steep times between 5-20s depending on the tea type and how the flavour is developing and changing between steeps). If you enjoyed it before it might be that 60s was way too much or perhaps you can experiment with less leaf? I often use less leaf than is recommended for gongfu. It takes some time to experiment to find what works for you.

adagio breeze

Oh, I’m definitely not going to write off gongfu-ing greens! Teavivre’s leaf recommendation was 4g for a 3oz vessel, and I think my gaiwan is 6oz (I’ll have to check), and 7g seems to be Verdant’s standard for gongfu brewing, so I figured that amount sounded about right. Teavivre’s steep time progression did seem a bit (ugh I hate myself for this but I can’t think of a better word) steep.

adagio breeze

Also, I feel kind of boastful saying “I brewed this gongfu style” when my skill is not that great, haha.

yyz

Yay! There are some teas that I pretty much only brew that way(straight oolong, white and green teas). Blacks I find are interesting some ( especially the really tippy ones I can get away with reall

yyz

Eek. I meant that I can get away with really short steep times for some blacks 5s poured off slowly, especially jinjunmeis, others need about 50s and others are really best western styles IMHO. Have fun experimenting!

adagio breeze

Thanks for the tips!

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yyz

That’s too bad. My favourite initial steep time for greens is 45s. I usually increase steep times between 5-20s depending on the tea type and how the flavour is developing and changing between steeps). If you enjoyed it before it might be that 60s was way too much or perhaps you can experiment with less leaf? I often use less leaf than is recommended for gongfu. It takes some time to experiment to find what works for you.

adagio breeze

Oh, I’m definitely not going to write off gongfu-ing greens! Teavivre’s leaf recommendation was 4g for a 3oz vessel, and I think my gaiwan is 6oz (I’ll have to check), and 7g seems to be Verdant’s standard for gongfu brewing, so I figured that amount sounded about right. Teavivre’s steep time progression did seem a bit (ugh I hate myself for this but I can’t think of a better word) steep.

adagio breeze

Also, I feel kind of boastful saying “I brewed this gongfu style” when my skill is not that great, haha.

yyz

Yay! There are some teas that I pretty much only brew that way(straight oolong, white and green teas). Blacks I find are interesting some ( especially the really tippy ones I can get away with reall

yyz

Eek. I meant that I can get away with really short steep times for some blacks 5s poured off slowly, especially jinjunmeis, others need about 50s and others are really best western styles IMHO. Have fun experimenting!

adagio breeze

Thanks for the tips!

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Bio

I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.

Location

Bristol, UK

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