I’m up early so I decided to pick this sample at random to try it out this morning, I used about 5 grams of leaf in the gaiwan and did a quick rinse. My first infusion I had to throw away because I accidentally used boiling water. The wet leaves do smell divine. The whole reason I picked this sample was due to the description hot buttered flowers! :)
Second infusion was for 20 seconds at 180 F. I got a light yellow liquid which definitely smells very floral/magnolia like to me. The tea liquor is floral with a honey like sweetness and a tad of bitterness in the finish. hmm. Norbu says to keep decreasing the steeping time and temp. until the bitterness is gone.
3rd steep: 10 seconds at 175F. Definitely better. Agree about the thick almost oily feeling in the mouth (a bit buttery) which is reminiscent of a Taiwan high mountain oolong or something, bitterness is mostly gone at this point. A bit of nuttiness, a mere trace of astringency.
4th steep: 15 seconds at 175. Still nice. Still very flowery and smooth and I am still getting a trace of astringency but nothing overwhelming. A slight bittersweetness.
As you an imagine when you are keeping the steeping times this short you would be able to gets LOTS of infusions out of this tea. In order to make it more practical for me to do so I’d need a hot water heater set at 175 degrees all day, no wonder those are so popular.
This tea was nice, not so finicky once I figured out what my steeping parameters should be, but that did take a bit of trial and error. I’m quite new to these Fenghuang oolongs right now so I don’t have much to compare it to. From what I’ve been reading, bitterness is often a characteristic of these teas which is a bit unfortunate (for me). I didn’t love this but will certainly finish off what I have.