(Gaiwan, 30 sec infusions for first 4, +5 sec following, 13 steeps total)
Very interesting – had no idea what to expect! Wet leaves smell lightly toasted, touch of butter & starch. Pale yellow brew to start. Steeps 1-2 are delicately savory, buttery green vegetable flavors with just a little sweetness. Not getting “rice” so much as general toasty starchy notes. Fun to see the bright green “sticky rice” leaves open up while oolong leaves are still fairly tight. Steep 3 has tiny additions of bitterness and dry finish. Steeps 4-7 get a light floral aroma, though taste isn’t really there yet. Steeps 8-11 gradually lose flavor, especially buttery notes. Final steeps 12-13 get a slight boost of floral aroma and flavor, but all other flavors are receding.
Next day followed pkg directions for western brewing; had most of the same flavors as gongfu, but not as distinct. Pleasant and generally comforting.