This is a tea that has been sneaking up on me. The first time I tasted it, I was a bit disappointed, thinking it was too dark, too toasted, not enough fruity sweet spice. But that was a gongfu session. But although it was not making me dance for joy, there was nothing particularly bad about it, so I set the rest of the sample aside for brewing thermoses of tea for the road.
I can’t really give proper brewing parameters, because I don’t measure out when I’m doing it for the thermos. But I put the tea in my 6 oz glass pot, strewing it across the bottom to cover lightly but not pile up—just a few grams of tea. Then I just start making infusions with hot water—195-212—until the thermos is full. How long or how short each is doesn’t matter too much, because at the end, they’re all mixed together in a quart of tea.
The first cups from the thermos are very dark, toasty, just a hint of sweet grain—rice? barley?—under the dark toastiness. Then, as it sits longer, it starts to sweeten, as though some of the deeper roasted flavor elements are being transmuted into lighter sweeter things.
I’ve noticed this effect—the seeming sweetness with long holding—in other deeply roasted teas, notably some Wuyis—but this one takes it to a whole ‘nother level. And I ended up buying more. Couldn’t stop with just the sample.