So one morning, I think,“Hmmm…” I don’t know what to try! Green tea doesn’t sound good, and I’m not in the mood to pull out my gongfu ware for a rock oolong. What, oh what, should I have this morning?"
I go to my tea shelf and sort through all my teas. My eyes see this Golden Peacock black, and I think to myself, “Yes, that’s the ticket!” So I get my 16oz kyusu pot (large, I know) and, while waiting for the water to boil, put a generous dose of two tablespoons into the pot. A couple minutes later, I add the water, cover the pot, and…… well….. I completely forget about it. Heaven forbid that that this should happen with such an expensive tea ($12 for 50g, considering I used 2 generous tablespoons, really adds up)!
Three hours later, I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my roommate when I realize my mistake. I utter a few choice four-letter words, explain my mistake to the roommie, and rush to pour out the brew, praying to the guanyin that it is not totally ruined. From behind me, I hear my roommate say, “I’ll try a sip of that.” So, I pour myself a cup, and then I pour a spot for my roommie to try, warily handing the cup to him. I watch him take a sip. To my surprise, he says, “This is really good tea!” I take a sip for myself. I am totally astounded! Yes, the flavor is strong. No, there is no hint of bitterness. My mouth is bombarded with flavors of malt, rye bread, umami mushrooms, and even roasted peaches. Praise the guanyin (or rather, praise the masterful producers who grew and processed these leaves), the tea is delicious!
So after I finish this delightful brew, do I throw out the leaves, thinking that they have given their all? Heavens, no! I fill up my water kettle, let it boil, and pray for another flavorful brew. I give this steep a good ten minutes, pour out the brew, and take a sip, expecting nothing special. What do you know, there’s actually flavor!!! And not just flavor: sweet fried yams with caramelized sugar, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. Good Lord, talk about a durable tea!
The next day, I have another brew. Fifteen minutes this time. I am blessed with yet another cup full of peaches, honey, and malty chocolate. I decide to save the leaves for one more brew(three hours again), which I am enjoying right now. As I write this, I am in a true state of tea-vana, enjoying the fourth steeping of this amazingly resilient and flavorful tea, amazed that people have the power to create such an amazing work of art and pleasure.
Should I go for one more steeping?