As homage to the great tradition of martial arts films which at a tender age first planted the seeds of my obsession with all things East Asian, I call this “Gongfu Madness”.
We got a second pouch of this pu-erh in our second round of samples. I suspect we were supposed to get the other pu-erh which TeaVivre offers, the rose scented one, and we got this one in error. But that is not a problem because I don’t know as either Liz or I would have cared for that one very much and we liked this one a lot.
To expand the tasting boundaries the second time around, I came up with another heretical steeping idea which is so crazy it just might be genius.
I got a my smallest tea pot (close to 2 cups) as well as my largest (close to ten cups).
I set the electric kettle to boiling, and dropped the toucha into the warmed small pot. For this process I did “rinse” the tea, because the steepings would be so short I needed the leaves to losen up.
Then, in quick succession I made five steepings and transferred them to the larger tea pot. That is to say, I combined them. The timing for the steeps was 5 seconds, 3 seconds, 3 seconds, 4 seconds and then 5 seconds.
My thinking? If the idea behind this long series of short steeps is to expose various profiles of the tea, if you combine them, you should get a deeply complex, multi-dimensional flavor matrix that is distinct both from any one steeping or from a single, long steeping of the combined 20 seconds.
And it seems to have worked!
This cup is all at once soft and loamy, bright and sweet, and yet still dry and dusty. The liqueur has a thick, almost broth like mouth feel and coats not only the tongue, but the whole mouth.
I wish I had a 20 cup pot (or a teensy 1 cup pot) so I could try what 10 steepings tastes like.