97

Going gong fu with this one this afternoon. Approximately following Verdant’s steeping directions, my little teapot is about 6oz, and I used a tablespoon of leaves which is about 5g. First steep (after a quick rinse) was about 10 seconds by the time all the liquid got poured out of the teapot. The liquor is very pale, barely changing the color of my light green ru teaware but it certainly smells good. Fresh and floral and buttery and very sweet. First steep is light, but very tasty. Damn, I love TGYs, and this is a beautiful one. So sweet, especially as it cools quickly in my tiny tea cup (probably one of my favorite things about gong fu brewing… I am always waiting for my tea to cool because I prefer it warm but not hot). Orchidy florals, but not perfumy in any way, and with wonderful honeysuckle/honey notes.

Second steeping, 15 seconds. The color has deepened considerably. This time the sweet buttery floral aromas are joined by a leafy greenness. This time I definitely pick up the saffron notes mentioned in the description. Still sweet, but more robust. The florals are a bit darker. Third steeping, 20 seconds, is very similar to the second. I really have to let this steep cool way down before I really enjoy it, because while hot it lacks the florals and sweetness and honey qualities. My subsequent (4th and 5th) steepings all added 10 seconds in time and were all very similar to these steepings, like the tea hit a note and just kept sticking there. Even a sixth steep which jumped to 90 seconds showed little variation. While the are all pretty tasty, they all seem a bit weak and none of them are as interesting and outstanding as that first, rapturous steep, which makes me think that maybe I need to use a tad more leaf to start, or keep my steeping times really short throughout the first steepings, or both.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Spoonvonstup

Oo.. you still have some of last spring left? I’ve got basically two sessions that saved through the winter. Now that the new stuff is in, I guess I don’t have a reason to hoard anymore. I will have to compare with your one-year-later experience!

Dinosara

Yup… just about another session left, I think, and then I’m out. I want to try the new stuff but I still have a fair amount of the autumn harvest to work though too!

DaisyChubb

You inspired me! I’m drinking autumn right now, but I think I favour the 2011 spring picking over the autumn :)

Dinosara

I need to try the autumn gong fu! I like them both so much.

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Comments

Spoonvonstup

Oo.. you still have some of last spring left? I’ve got basically two sessions that saved through the winter. Now that the new stuff is in, I guess I don’t have a reason to hoard anymore. I will have to compare with your one-year-later experience!

Dinosara

Yup… just about another session left, I think, and then I’m out. I want to try the new stuff but I still have a fair amount of the autumn harvest to work though too!

DaisyChubb

You inspired me! I’m drinking autumn right now, but I think I favour the 2011 spring picking over the autumn :)

Dinosara

I need to try the autumn gong fu! I like them both so much.

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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