I’ve never really done gong fu style steeping before (isn’t that what you’d call multiple short steepings? Correct me if I’m wrong!) but I had this packet left over in my sample collection and really wanted an oolong today, so I gave it a shot. I only managed 3 6 oz. infusions (used the whole 7 gram packet) but it was my inaugural attempt at this, so I’ve got to practice before my body can accept that much liquid that fast!
*Followed Gingko’s directions on the pre-rinse and steeping suggestions.
1st infusion: 30 sec. steep. Very vegetal, buttery green. I got notes of spinach in it, which I like. Liquor a yellow brown, reminiscent of a green tea. Texture was thick to me (in a good way), but I expected that because this is a lot higher leaf to water ratio than I traditionally use. No real ‘roasted’ notes this go around.
2nd infusion: 30 sec. Color is still a yellow brown; scent is buttery vegetal; this doesn’t appear much different than the first infusion, so far. Flavor is much lighter on the “green”; seems more buttery, less spinachy. There’s a roasty note now – genmaicha-esque. (It tasted kind of nutty and rice-ish.) The roasted note is also more prominent in the smell now.
3rd infusion: 30 sec. Much lighter yellow color, the taste has faded too – less buttery, but still a vegetal green flavor. The roasted taste and smell are gone again. I like stronger flavors so I think this is as weak as I’ll go – I could definitely see how on further infusions a longer steep time would be required.
I waited to try the gong fu method largely because I didn’t trust my ability to discern the taste changes between steepings. Maybe this was just an easy one to figure out, or maybe I’ve gotten better, but I found the whole process really fun! I liked how the toastiness was so fickle in this – it was like drinking two different types of tea.
I would guess this is more of a green oolong, though I have had little to no experience with oolongs to really know for sure. I suppose that oolongs will be my next area of tea education….