So, I tried this with good water now – the Goddess was in better spirits.
Though, admittedly, the liquor had less of a gorgeous hue… maybe there’s some balance in water hardness to be found, when I have the resources to experiment with that.
My first infusion was light… delicate. I think I understeeped it. Or, perhaps, I had the right steep time, but not enough leaf. The flavor just wasn’t strong enough.
The next time, I used a bit hotter water, and purposefully oversteeped it. It came out bitter – perfect. I’ve always been a fan of hard oolong. The first sip always kicks you, and the drink will be harsher, but it’s much… bolder experience.
And, eh, call me a cynic, but I like my oolong bitter for a reason.
I went digging through a collection of tea quotes, Tea Wisdom, to find this one, because I think it gives a good insight into my love of “ruining” darker oolongs. (I usually brew the Green ones properly.)
“There is no single recipe for making good tea, as there are no rules for producing a Titian or Session.” – Kakuzo Okakura
Perhaps I misconstrue that statement, or take it out of context. But those are the words, and I’ll infer them as I will. Oolong, of the four major types, is the only one, as I see it, that can handle harsh astringency. I think there’s a reason for that.