As soon as I got my gaiwan from Butiki today, I knew I was going to brew this up. I was a disciplined woman, though. Instead of doing it right away, I used this tea as a reward for sending out applications to 5 different jobs. Fingers crossed!

I’ve never brewed with a gaiwan before so I’m not sure if I did this right. I heated the gaiwan and my teapot with boiling water. Then I added enough leaf to make a little mound at the bottom of the gaiwan. Then I did a rinse, but didn’t time it much. After that, 5 steeps total, at approx 15/20/25/30/35 seconds. This is an estimate, though – I don’t have this down to a science.

Anyways, the tea!

Dry, the leaf smelled smoky and sweet, almost like tobacco or leather. Wet, the smell is just intensified. Holy moly, what a bouquet!

The steeps were all fairly similar in flavour – hints of hay, leather, tobacco, and a sweetness near the end that kind of reminded me of jasmine. All 5 times the liquor was a lovely clear amber. It was a tad drying throughout, and the final steep was slightly astringent. The final steep was also the sweetest.

EDIT: I saw TerriHarpLady’s post about this and she was bang-on about the chrysanthemum flavour. The sweetness at the end is very reminiscent of chrysanthemums.

I think I like pu’er teas? Not sure yet. I’ll have to try more. But I loved being able to use my gaiwan. So contemplative. I think it would be best to save this for the weekends though. Sunday morning sounds perfect.

Thanks very much to De and aisling of tea for giving me a package of this to try.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Leather, Tobacco

__Morgana__

Sounds like you did fine for your first gaiwan foray. Don’t forget to give it a go with white tea, as well. Using the gaiwan really changed my experience of white teas. I get far more flavor from white teas with the gaiwan than any other method.

Christina

Ooh, good point. I’ve got some plain silver needle I’ve been meaning to try, and the last time I made some I did it Western style. That and I’ve also got some jasmine silver needle that I’m sure will be lovely.

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__Morgana__

Sounds like you did fine for your first gaiwan foray. Don’t forget to give it a go with white tea, as well. Using the gaiwan really changed my experience of white teas. I get far more flavor from white teas with the gaiwan than any other method.

Christina

Ooh, good point. I’ve got some plain silver needle I’ve been meaning to try, and the last time I made some I did it Western style. That and I’ve also got some jasmine silver needle that I’m sure will be lovely.

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I’m a writer and editor who, after years of bagged-tea purgatory, has finally seen the light and glory of loose-leaf teas. I’m still just starting my journey, as it’s been only in the last 2 years that I’ve started drinking loose-leaf tea, and only in the past few months that I’ve been trying different varieties in earnest.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: unflavoured black teas, pu’er teas.

For those interested, here’s my scoring system, though I don’t score teas as often as I used to:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.

Location

Toronto, ON, Canada

Website

http://www.christinavasilevsk...

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