Ok, so this is the tea that got the swap going with Indigobloom and I was waiting for a time where I could re-steep easily.
I don’t have a gaiwan or anything for gong fu steeping. I used a bag from DAVIDs, boiling water, and a measuring cup. I don’t usually measure the water…I just fill my Steeper to a point and brew. Because of the nature of the steeping on the website, and reading reviews here, I figured this was the closest I could come to East meets West steeping. I did not get rid of the first steep or “rinse” as I really wanted to max out what I could with my small sample.
First steep…my little special tea cup was actually less than 8 oz, so while I started the steep in that as I poured the boiling water from the measuring cup, I poured the rest in my mug, followed by what was in my tea cup, and the bag. I think I probably just shook the bag around a bit and dunked it up and down. I’m guessing this was all in the 20-30 second time frame. The brew that formed was light and pale and golden. It smelled very bready, considering how short a steep it was. My first sip was a spicy one, a sharp peppery spice at the tip of my tongue. I wasn’t prepared for that. Subsequent sips were not as sharp, and I could taste the bread again, but more like a honey bread. I will mention that this was drunk bare, which I rarely do. I could taste a subtle sweet note at the back of my mouth, sort of like an after taste. I don’t think I picked up any mushroom notes, which is good for me since I am not fond of mushrooms, but it is possible that was I did taste was a little of the roasted sweet potato that some have picked up on.
Second steep was longer, and I added sugar, but not much. This steep was stronger, and a bit more astringent than the first. The basic flavours appeared, though the brew was darker, and it was, as I said, a little more astringent.
Third steep I went a bit more Western, probably about a minute steep, and I used more sugar and also milk. I’m getting a very classic Chinese Yunnan taste from this…something I have had in the past, something that is very comforting to me. I do still get some of the peppery notes every now and again, and the malty honey bun flavour is what permeates most in this. The milk and sugar add a sweet creamy touch. It is a simplicity in flavour that makes it so comforting, even if the notes are a little complex still.
All in all, I find this to be of very good quality. It’s taste is a bit like liquid gold. It has all the traits of a good yunnan tea that I love, but a silky and glossy golden feel to it. It’s like a tea spun out of gold. Light and bright but balanced.
I don’t know if I will get more steeps out of this one or not, especially as my last steep had the bag in with the milky water. If I do one more, it will probably be more Western style, and continue with the milk and sugar.
I have enough of the sample for one more round of steeps, so I will use those leaves wisely.
Thanks agin to Indigobloom for sharing this delightful tea with me.