169 Tasting Notes
so i already have my beloved ceramic Pristine 2-4 cup English teapot/teaball combo and my equally-beloved Teavana easy tea thingy, but i realized i really wanted to try this gong fu brewing style, what with my continued obsession with all things oolong (and interest in exploring puerhs, raw and ripe!). Enter the Glass “Easy Gaiwan” made for Gong Fu Tea Brewing * 200ml.
This thing is AWESOME! now, i have no way to compare it to other gaiwans, not having used/owned one ever before, but this one surely is a fun and delicious way to enjoy an afternoon (or few days’ worth) of tea. the glassness allows you to watch as your tea unfurls during steeps, the little “handles” plus the knob on the lid keep your fingers lovely and cool while you’re pouring the tea. my favorite bit is that the spout pours PERFECTLY, this is coming from someone who manages to spill any liquid that comes within 30 feet of me, so that’s saying something.
at any rate, this was an inexpensive little item, worth every penny, and even my little boy, who normally ignores mommy’s tea habit, watched me brewing with this and told me this little teapot is really cool. LOL!
get one, i totally recommend.
i just felt obliged to add that i’ve been using this puppy now for over a year on a pretty much daily basis, and it is still going strong. i’ve taken it apart and scrubbed it out with a scrubby brush a few times, run it through the dishwasher once or twice (i think), mostly just rinse it out with soapy water when it needs cleaning. LOVE this little workhorse, and i wanted to add another note about its seeming longevity! (course, this means it will fall apart tomorrow, right?)
and if it falls apart tomorrow, i’d go right out and buy another one. immediately.
alrighty, this is a tea i’ve had for months, just waiting for the right moment to break it out and try it – i have only a sample size, so gently pried a clump off the larger clump. using my glass gaiwan, i’ve given it 2 quick washes, and with each wash, the fragrance got better, and the color became a deeper golden. this time, first steeping, i gave it about 30 seconds (including pour time), since the color wasn’t what i was hoping for.
taste – oh WOW this is grassy! not green-grassy like a sencha, but more of a fresh hay kinda flavor! quite refreshing and i’m quite enjoying. i don’t know why i was expecting more earth-shroom flavor, i guess because of the shou i have been drinking for the last couple of days. this one is not. like. that. which is not at all a bad thing!
second steeping: about 30 seconds again, this is turning more golden-y, as in a little additional harvesty-looking orange tint to the liquor, just gorgeous. this steeping is sharper, and looking back on it, i think the water was too hot (just off boiling). steeping again, a little before boiling…MUCH smoother. i don’t know if i should have started completely over, though…anyone know? this brewing is once again hayfresh and crisp fall harvest-y. i do like this raw puerh. i think i’ll keep going on this one all weekend, or until i need the gaiwan for an emergency oolong…
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dry Grass, Hay
i have had this one for a while, just waiting to be opened…well, this is the day! er, actually i’m anticipating the week. brewed in a gaiwan, water just at boiling, 2 brief washes, then first steep at 10…15…20…30 seconds before the stuff looked like anything much! that first steeping smelled amazing, tasted like nada. second steeping, i’m on now, took only the amount of time to fill the gaiwan then pour the tea into my cup – POW this is much better. smooth rich loamy mushroom, cool even while hot. i look forward to another couple of days out of this, i suspect.
not the greatest tea out there, but definitely a keeper.
Recieved this in the mail today along with my new “easy gaiwan” from yunnan sourcing – soo excited to try out the gaiwan gongfu style brewing all this lazy afternoon!
first of all – YUM YUM YUM the first brewing of this tea is just amazing , buttery, vaguely ethereal, floral, and oolong-y! i’m loving the gaiwan method, it is soothing and calming. second brew, a little less of the floral, a LOT more vegetal, just chewy and delish. OOOOPS now it is getting late. saving this in fridge for further steeps tomorrow….
MAJOR backlogging today, if you hadn’t noticed. :p
ANYHOW, i never can quite decide if i like formosa oolongs or not. this one was one with a lot more going on than some i’ve had (cough pilgrim’s rest tea shoppe cough), not so cardboardy and one-dimensional. it’s usually the depth and layering of flavors i love so much in teas, but they helped not one bit with this one. not that it was bad. just. not great. feh. i’ll give it a C.
ew. i should have known, with the hibiscus right there in the title, that i would not favor this tisane. i prefer when tea crafters add the beetroot base, rather than hibiscus.
that said, i have yet to try it out on my son, or my dad, both of whom love this sort of thing. because of that, and my built-in bias against hibiscus, i shall refrain from rating until at least one of them tries it.
ok, i tried. i don’t usually like mint tea all that much (i mean, it isn’t AWFUL), but i thought the steepster select can’t be so bad, can it?
yes. it can. if you don’t care for mint teas, you can skip this one, sadly. i’m not going to give this an awful rating, as it wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t for me. i could at least tell it was probably a really great mint for those who love mint!