The aroma of this tea as I opened the 5g sample pack was sooooo inviting, brew me it said. So I did, used the 5g sample in a 1920’s gaiwan 170ml, I received as a gift last night from a good friend who came to dinner. Quick rinse and the 1st steep was just how they prefaced the tea on Yezi’s site. The wet leaves now smelled even more inviting. Subtle smoky whiffs and could that be chocolate as well. Couldn’t wait for the sip. Bitter I must say was the first thing I noticed and was temporarily disappointed until that sweetness finally hit after the tea was gone. Bitter-Sweet.
2nd steep 20 seconds and catastrophe struck. My new antique gaiwan broke as I picked it up. The rim splintered into 3 pieces. I poured the tea anyway. So it got a longer steep, say 50 seconds and wow this was deep. That bitter was more muted and the sweet more pronounced. The flavors of malt, chocolate/cocoa, cigar smoke in a good way.
3rd steep, transferred to a 150 gaiwan for 25 seconds. Aromas are starting to fade but the remembrance is strong. Flavors are also starting to fade but the maltiness is out in front. Should have been paying attention to that 2nd steep and brewed longer.
4th and 5th steep were both 50 seconds and the aromas and flavors are back.
You can go longer with this tea but I think 5 steeps for me is the limit. Over all a nice return to a red tea as I have been drinking TGY at work for the past month. I grew up on Keemun and this brought me back.
I need to give props to Yezi, my order came in 2 days!!, and a nice personal note from Mei Qin Weng including the smiley face only makes this a better experience. The Gao Shan was an extra sample on top of the free ones I chose and a free tea strainer was in the box as well. Can not wait to try the rest. Thanks again Yezi.