Note that I moved this to 2012 from 2011Tieguanyin because I had all my notes under the wrong vintage! Oh yes! All the nice comments from Steepsters are therefore lost but not forgotten! Alas…old age strikes again!
If it were not for the awesome Verdant website (as I have said before) I would be LOST! The information on how best to brew each tea is invaluable to a rookie like me. I know how to cook, but I don’t know how to fix all these varieties of tea! Fortunately I have been acquireing several brewing pots…Gaiwan, Gongfu, PIAO, regular pots made of porcelain and glass and stainless infusers. AND an electric kettle which is essential since here at high altitude water takes longer to boil. AND (wait for it) a PUER KNIFE! Ok, it’s really pretty! Trays and cozys etc. Ya’ll know what I mean. It’s like I put on roller skates with jet packs and am fast tracking through the World of Tea’s over bumps and through bushes.
Now and then someone lends a hand so that I don’t fall and hurt myself. Thanks to you all for that!
I used my PIAO 1 pot for each steep and 1tsp leaves to 4oz water.
1.The instructions for steeping are to flush first to begin opening the tight green leaves.
Then, gently introduce the water to the leaves for a 1minute steep. OK. This done, the liquor became medium light gold with a tinge of green. A light lilac floral scent introduced the tea to my nose before my first sip. The flavor was creamy and salty sweet again with soft lilac and an aftertaste of buttered yukon potatoes. This is juicy tea. I noticed a mineral taste on the finish and hint of vanilla on subsiquent sips. The creaminess is outstanding and expansive with the juiciness of the tea…it goes on and on.
2. My steeping timer got away from me. I overdid it! Oh did the leaves chuckle at my ignorance! In fact I need to mention that you just can’t use a teaball for these leaves. No way would I use a regular tea basket either. My 1 teaspoon of dry tight leaves turned into at least 1/2 cup or more of large green wet leaves! AND they pointed their tea fingers at me and laughed! “ROOKIE!”
But the last laugh is mine. The tea was darker, but not bitter and I drank it all up! Still tasting buttery and good but not as great as it could have been.
3. Giving greater attention to the timing and fearing that I had stripped the tea of all deliciousness, I went with 1minute and 10 seconds. That and no more. What happened next was surprizing! The tea came back to life! Great color, wonderful flavor, sweetness and elegant floral bouquet! This time the tea is not as sweet as at first, a little nutty and less salty. The juice is there with cream and butter. I fell into my memory fantasy (you know what I mean if you have read my reviews before)…and had a tea/food moment. Grandma is in the kitchen making vanilla custard pie and the flavor of a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes with melting butter sits on a big oak table next to a window on a warm Spring evening. A gentle breeze has picked up the scent of lilacs growing in the yard and it is wafting in past lace curtains, mixing with the scent of the potatoes, butter and vanilla. That’s this tea. (I must be hungry)
I was thinking about how or when I would drink this tea. Most Oolongs I prefer by themselves. Naked! If you must, noodles and lemon with olive oil and salt would be ok I suppose, with some chicken, or a light spinach salad. But, no garlic or heavy herbs or strong cheese. This is just too delicate. Grilled mozzerella on toast…nice.