This was my very first tea order, and my very first foray into the world of teaphilia. I ordered it because a friend on another website waxed ecstatic about it, and I like lemon and love cardamom, so of course I had to try it. I ordered 2 bags from Zoomdweebies.
The dry leaves smell heavenly, lemony and a bunch of other things I can’t place.
The first time I made it (several weeks ago), I knew nothing, and poured boiling water over it and steeped it for 5-6 minutes. Silly me. (Why doesn’t Frank include steeping instructions for complete newbies like me?)
I wanted to keep trying, because I really wanted to have the good experience that my ecstatic friend had with this tea.
In the meantime . . . I’ve expanded my experience with teas a tiny bit, and also bought a tea thermometer. Then today, I read here all about how others are making this tea, and, intending to use 180F water, I immediately forgot what I’d read and used 190F. Sigh.
I tried again, this time carefully waiting until the water reached exactly 180F, and timed the steeping to 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Then I tried a second steep with the same leaves, at 180F and 3 minutes, and got a similar cup. (I wish there were points for persistence.)
The steeped tea is very nice. In contrast to what others are tasting, I can’t really pick out the cardamom, but then, there are so many things going on in this tea, and so many ingredients that I’m not really familiar with (including the chun mee base), that it all comes across to me as a complex, interesting, lemony, grassy, a titch piney flavour. (The pineyness reminded me of Retsina, the Greek wine.)
I think this tea will grow on me as I keep drinking it.
I’m not fond of the astringency, and so maybe will try it next time at under 2 minutes, and/or at 170-175F. Anybody know if there’s a way to offset astringency? I did add about ¼ tsp sugar per cup.