70

(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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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I’ve been a tea drinker for at least twenty years, but only began to explore fine teas in the last few. Learning to brew gongfu style in my first gaiwan made me aware that not only is there an amazing array of teas out there to try, but each tea has the potential to have a great variety of flavors revealed by different preparations.

I’m still figuring out what works for me as far as tasting notes/ratings, but whenever possible (tiny sample sizes and time commitment often being limiting factors), I like to brew each tea I try a few ways: gongfu style, western style, cold brewed. I’ve enjoyed seeing how these treatments change any given tea, especially since some teas may fall flat in one preparation but improve or shine in others.

I’m hoping to gain more education in greens and whites. I’m intimidated by (but curious about) pu-erh. Oolong and black teas are my go-tos.

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North Carolina

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