Good lord, people. I have been bound and bleeding determined to get the perfect steep out of this, to get as close as humanly possible to making the delicious scent of this tea match the actual taste of it. I kept getting cups that just weren’t cutting it.
I finally went out and bought a tea thermometer to make sure I had the temperature just right. I’ve also been fiddling with the right steeping device – my regular strainers kept letting bits of tea through that I could never quite strain out, so they kept steeping and soured the cup, but the disposable filters didn’t let the tea expand properly. So this morning I basically combined the best of the two – I tucked an open tea ball (well, an acorn-shaped strainer) into a reusable bamboo filter bag, so the tea could expand without any bits escaping. I put the tea in at 160 degrees and gave it exactly three minutes.
After all that, I’m calling this a success! I’m definitely getting the most almond flavor out of this of any prior steep. It’s still definitely more of a green tea flavor than I was hoping for, given that the scent suggests you’ll be drowning in marzipan. The almond is there, though. I think I just keep expecting that teas will be naturally sweet and then I’m put off when they’re not. Maybe I just need to admit defeat and start adding sugar already.
It pains me to admit the success of this green tea steeping method (open tea ball + reusable filter bag) because it’s such a pain in the butt, but I think it genuinely does allow for the best cup since the leaves get to expand properly but there are no bits left floating around to keep steeping. Green tea, thou art the cruelest mistress!