Drinking this hastily at work is an injustice to the complexities and sheer beauty of this tea. Even worse is my decision on western style brewing.
There is a subtleness to both the leaves and liquor, a clean and fresh and delicate subtleness. The leaves are a wild and earthy shape and color, with deep and dark greens along the long curls and twists. The scent is extremely faint but very fresh, reminiscent of forest after a rainfall.
The initial steep gives you this thick and velvety brew, followed by a very clean and crisp and lightly sweet aftertaste of grape and apple. It is quite a lovely and brilliant experience, with little to no astringency.
The second steep gave me a thicker velvet texture, with a malty flavor mixed with the grape and apple. There is a mild but bright astringent aftertaste that follows and lingers on your tongue.
The third steep was a lighter malt, with less texture and a slight more astringency. The fading flavors and details made it clear that you should not brew this western style. A tea this complex and delicate requires patience and attention.
Despite my ignorance, my first experience was a complete surprise and an extreme delight. I cannot wait to properly experience this.