Second steeping: This one’s a bit thin on flavor, probably because the leaf got cold while I was having my Mini serviced and throwing 21 links of disc golf. And yet, the mouth feel is enormous.

Third steeping: This is more like it. Deep umber color. In a funny way, this is (perhaps not unexpectedly) the exact opposite of the pre-chingming da hong pao I was getting from Upton just a few months ago. That was light and floral, this is dark and earthy. Quite literally. This tastes like wet granite and venison hard tack.

This is a cold weather tea. By which I don’t mean Winter in Houston. Perhaps I will pack this into an unlaquered bamboo canister for more aging and save it either to gift to a Northern friend or for the next time I visit my parents.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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