I want to start off by saying that I enjoyed this tea a lot.
It may not sound like it after the next couple of sentences, but I did. The first two steepings were brutal. Very overwhelming roasted flavor signifying some definite over-roasting at some point in its life. I brewed this tea first using Song’s brewing guide but was very dissapointed with the results so went traditional Gong Fu the second time around. Short steeps of 6/4/6/8/10/15/30/45 in 100 ml Yixing.
Something changed in the third steep though and the tea suddenly became very balanced and clear. A beautiful caramel/toffee base with just a slight hint of smoked wood. This remained consistently for the next 6 steeping and probably could have gone more. Maybe next time I will try a longer rinse? Or maybe I’ll just dump the first two infusions altogether? Seems wasteful, but maybe worth it as the third steeping onward was fantastic.
I am generally a huge fan of aged yancha and this is definitely a good one though, ultimately, perhaps not worth the price of admission. I could see myself getting this tea again but would probably have to think about it first.