This tea, take 12. Okay, it’s more like take 3 but whatever. This time, I’m following JacquelineM’s suggestion of lower temp water. She recommended 195° but my Zojirushi was set on 208 and I was lazy so I did 208° → cup → pause → teapot. That leaves me a bit iffy on temperature but whatever it was totally worked because now the astringency that previously camped out on my tongue and did it’s best to turn into bitterness is now just a crisp dryness throughout the sip.
It’s still froufrou but better blended – I can almost actually pick up some bergamot! There’s a better balance of flavors and it seems a bit stronger. Well, stronger isn’t quite the right word because it is a soft tea, but it doesn’t seem like a weak third steep anymore.
I still can’t fully get behind this because I feel like it is still a bit heavy handed on the floral tastes but this is worlds more enjoyable than my previous additive-less cup so I’m giving the rating a nice bump.