In my recent gongfu sessions, I have discovered a new favorite step in my preparations. After I portion out some tea into the pot, I take a sniff in the pot. Then I exhale into the pot, and smell the amazing scents that come back out. It is a revelation. The teas smell amazingly different warmed and humidified by my breath, and notes come out that more closely match the flavors.
This one smelled amazing this morning, the perfect embodiment of autumn. New fallen leaves, sweet potatoes, spices. I have never brewed this tea gongfu before, so I am excited to try it. Once again, leaf amount is a guestimate… I really should bring my scale in since I rarely use it at home these days, at least until I get a feeling of what a certain weight looks like.
This time I didn’t even try to make the first steep a rinse, knowing I wouldn’t have the heart to throw it out. A few seconds, and the tea is just waking up but still has lovely flavors of sweet potato chips, a kind of sweet and savory together.
I do think I might not used quite the right amount of leaf, though I’m not sure right now if it should have been more or less. Regardless, the steeps I had (many) were tasty, though not quite as delicious as just steeping it western. But I will definitely have to properly measure my leaf and try it again.