I started with 2.3 grams of very powerful smelling tea in a small gaiwan (about 75 mL), water 205 degrees.
A bit dusty/musty, going to flash rinse before drinking an infusion
Waited a minute, then first infusion pour in/pour out—less than 10 second steep
Let it cool a bit—grabbed the wrong cup for this—it is mild, sweet, bit of smokiness and earthy with the camphor. As the infusion sits between sips, the smokiness, earthiness and camphor all intensify, and the sweetness drops into the background.
2nd infusion—also pour in/pour out—sweet, smoky, earthy, camphor, but the first note is the sweet. Long camphorous aftertaste.
3rd infusion—pour in/pour out—the sweet is still there, and the smoky/earthy/camphor is starting to overtake the sweet even at the beginning of the sip.
Brought it home with me in the gaiwan, then left overnight, starting again in the morning, and it is again earthy, camphorous, smoky, powerful stuff….and this is another flash infusion.
Longer infusion is strong, earthy, camphorous, a little sweet….and if this is after a dozen years of aging, what must it have been like when it was young? 5th infusion was longer, about a minute, because I forgot it, but even though stronger than I really enjoy, it still was not bitter or actually unpleasant.
Quite an amazing tea.
Another half dozen short infusions character changing only gradually.
Infusion 12 still is potent, but the sweet is coming more strongly now, again. Those early infusion were rather rough, but this is really getting very nice. At this rate, this is going to be a 20-30 infusion tea, methinks…but will need to heat up another kettle’s worth of tea.
2.3 grams may be a whole day’s worth of tea at this rate.
Started this one Friday evening, just four infusions; continued Saturday, probably 20 infusions; and Sunday, another 4 or 5 before I stopped. At about 2 oz per infusion, that was a couple of liters of tea from 2.3 grams of leaf!
The later infusions were well towards sweet water, but still had distinct flavor. Mmmm.
And the leaves were quite impressive—most were quite broken up, but look at the size of the one on the left—penny added for scale. Big leaf with a very big flavor.