This was the first tea to grace my new (and first) gaiwan! I was able to do 5 steeps. I think next time I need to adjust my steeping times. I was unsure of what to do with the gaiwan, and I think I may have used times that were a little too long to get the most out of this oolong. Now I know to use shorter steeps in order to get a little more out of this tea!
First I did a quick rinse. I tasted it, of course, because I was curious. Even the rinse was tasty! But let’s get down to the “real” tasting steeps.
-Smell: Vegetal, almost creamy scent. Also present was a floral scent, which my little sister described excitedly as “lilac”. There may be hope for this kid yet!
-Taste: This first steep was mainly vegetal, almost asparagus-like, though not as pungent. Maybe more like spinach. I’m also detecting a sweetness to the cup. It has a smooth, creamy mouth-feel and a floral aftertaste. Overall, a nice cuppa.
-Smell: Floral smell is front and center, with a light vegetal smell. I find this so interesting, as the wet leaves in the gaiwan smell VERY vegetal. Strange how that works. I’m also detecting a bit of a mint scent in the brew, but it’s very faint.
-Taste: Taste wise, this cup brings forth a bit more of the floral aspects of the tea (lilacs!). There are also some spinach-y, asparagus-y aspects, but the floral is definitely the most prominent. The very end of the sip holds a surprising minty kick, which was very refreshing! This cup was both sweet and smooth. Even smoother than the first steep.
-Smell: This cup smells very floral, and I’m detecting very little of the vegetal aspects.
-Taste: Suprisingly enough, though very floral in scent, this cup is very vegetal! Interesting. The vegetal aspect of this cup is very spinach-like. That being said, the spinach taste I’m getting is not only vegetal, but sweet! This cup is also smooth/creamy, and the mint aspect is still going strong. The lilac I got in the previous steep isn’t discernible in this cup. May be my favorite steep yet!
-Smell: The vegetal scent is back, but it’s about a 50/50 mix with the floral scent.
-Taste: This steep is still vegetal, but the spinach-like taste is lighter. Aspects of the floral taste are coming back. The mint aspect is not present. Sweet, light, smooth cup.
-Smell: Smells like spinach, with only slight floral aspects.
-Taste: Very light. Slightly sweet. Vegetal taste and floral taste are both present, but neither is really standing out more than the other. This steeping is still good, but will be the last, as I 1)have to do some homework and 2) think I may be close to exhausting this one. Next time I’ll use shorter steeps in order to keep this tea going. I had a lot of suggestions from people, so I’ll experiment a little to get the most out of this delicious oolong!
Overall, I love this oolong! It’s on the vegetal side, but isn’t grassy like greens can be. It’s floral, but not in a bitter, overpowering way. It was a perfect choice for my new gaiwan, and I can’t wait to try this one again now that I know a little bit more about brewing with the gaiwan and have a framework of steeping times in mind.