Compared to recommended steeping instructions, I’m using a ton of tea and very short steeps in a gaiwan instead of a more western-style approach. In general I’m adding just enough recently-boiled water to cover the leaves and pouring it out as soon as I can manage.
steep 1 – Leafy, fresh, sweet, a little astringent.
steep 2 – smell is very deep and woody, astringency overwhelms any flavor at first but some sweet notes as my mouth adapts. Will try to be quicker with future steeps.
steep 3 – I can’t imagine steeping much more quickly, but the astringency is still fairly overpowering. There is, however, a hint of a pleasant aftertaste coming along that I hope will express itself more fully soon.
steep 4 – The aroma is really coming along but it’s still promising more than it can deliver in flavor. There’s definitely a hint of deliciousness that hits the palate briefly but it is quickly overcome by the more bitter chlorophylly flavor that the initial astringency has morphed into.
steep 5 – same as 4 but less bitter, equally flavorful
steep 6 – astringency is gone; there’s a fleeting fruity flavor on top of the steady woodsy leafy notes that’ve been around for awhile; will extend steep time from here.
steep 7 – finally it’s not unpleasant in any way. this cup is decent.
Unfortunately I need to stop for now. I don’t recommend brewing this tea like I did.