I’m having another fantastic session with this tea today, part II of one that began yesterday. It started a touch bitter, as usual, but I kept the first 6 or 8 infusions to pour-in/pour-out flash infusions, and the bitterness was kept to a touch. And the reward for sticking with it is infusions that keep going and going and going and going—sweet water, yes, but Lao Ban Zhang-flavored sweet water, and it is delicious. I’ve been doing a little trick—pouring a tiny bit of cold water in each infusion as soon as I pour it out of the pot—so no waiting for it to cool, which can itself let a bit of unpleasant flavor develop. Happy camper, here! Another one of those couldn’t-be-better sessions with the cheapo little yixing, and Michael Coffee’s wonderful little shino cup, so perfectly sized for the small infusions. Mmmm.
I owe this tea a lot, because I was afraid of it when I first read about it—“bitter” in the description put me off. But I tried it as part of a tasting, and figured out how to bring out the qualities I love, and ordered some, and got bolder in choosing sheng puerhs. My only problem with this tea? I’ve got a finite quantity—I only ordere 50 grams, what was I thinking?! so I only drink it occasionally. Sigh.