I’ve never really done gong fu style steeping before (isn’t that what you’d call multiple short steepings? Correct me if I’m wrong!) but I had this packet left over in my sample collection and really wanted an oolong today, so I gave it a shot. I only managed 3 6 oz. infusions (used the whole 7 gram packet) but it was my inaugural attempt at this, so I’ve got to practice before my body can accept that much liquid that fast!

*Followed Gingko’s directions on the pre-rinse and steeping suggestions.

1st infusion: 30 sec. steep. Very vegetal, buttery green. I got notes of spinach in it, which I like. Liquor a yellow brown, reminiscent of a green tea. Texture was thick to me (in a good way), but I expected that because this is a lot higher leaf to water ratio than I traditionally use. No real ‘roasted’ notes this go around.

2nd infusion: 30 sec. Color is still a yellow brown; scent is buttery vegetal; this doesn’t appear much different than the first infusion, so far. Flavor is much lighter on the “green”; seems more buttery, less spinachy. There’s a roasty note now – genmaicha-esque. (It tasted kind of nutty and rice-ish.) The roasted note is also more prominent in the smell now.

3rd infusion: 30 sec. Much lighter yellow color, the taste has faded too – less buttery, but still a vegetal green flavor. The roasted taste and smell are gone again. I like stronger flavors so I think this is as weak as I’ll go – I could definitely see how on further infusions a longer steep time would be required.

I waited to try the gong fu method largely because I didn’t trust my ability to discern the taste changes between steepings. Maybe this was just an easy one to figure out, or maybe I’ve gotten better, but I found the whole process really fun! I liked how the toastiness was so fickle in this – it was like drinking two different types of tea.

I would guess this is more of a green oolong, though I have had little to no experience with oolongs to really know for sure. I suppose that oolongs will be my next area of tea education….

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "


Medford, OR

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