I finally nailed this tea! But first, let me tell you about my nigh-tealess week.
It’s only just cooled down enough outside that my apartment isn’t an oven inside. I can do things around the home without feeling like I’m dying! Seriously, the past few days, the temperature inside my apartment reached the 90s almost daily. No amount of fans helped. The windows only open a couple of inches, so that didn’t help either. The Boy and I spent most of our evenings nearly immobile, moving only to feed the furbabies something cool. Needless to say, we didn’t go into the (significantly hotter) kitchen much. That included forgoing tea making for the most part. I did make a couple of tea slushies, but it was nothing too fancy. In fact, I was pretty sloppy with the steeps, because I just wanted to get back to vegetating in front of the two fans.
Needless to say, this 60F weather is a dream come true in comparison. It’s still a bit stuffily warm in the kitchen, but I can tolerate it enough now that I can make myself tea more often. I feel human again.
Now, this is the tea that I sadly mishandled last time I tried. I crowded the leaves and oversteeped it Western style. Even then, I could tell how much I’d like it if I got it right. And now I’ve gotten it perfect.
I took Mr. Duckler’s advice to try this Jingshan style, though leaving the leaves in a basket so I could stop the steeping a bit more easily.
1 tablespoon to a 12oz glass (one of those Pom Tea glasses they discontinued a while back). 175 degree water. First steep – about 15-20 secs; second steep – 20 secs; third steep – 30-35 secs; fourth steep – I eyeballed it until it was the right colour, about 3 minutes, sipping every so often to check the taste.
The result is a beautifully thick, vegetal, delicate, and extremely compelling tea. I’m not sure I have enough tasting experience to do it justice. It’s some sort of buttered vegetable, maybe green beans, that melts into a vegetal sweetness that’s delicate without being boring. A whisper of a green apple tart at the very end – tangy and buttery and sweet.
Beautiful and soothing, hot. Wonderful and refreshing, cold (I made enough to stick some in the fridge overnight!).
I’ll keep playing with this tea, next time I’ll try it in a gaiwan!