Decided to have another go with this one.
Steep – Time – Note
1st – 20s – I wanted to test a longer initial steep with this tea. 20s is riding that razor’s edge of getting too much astringency. At 20s though it’s still very pleasant (for me) as a nice dry finish with a lot of sweetness. The first time I did a 10s steep and I thought, “Maybe I’m detecting a little cha qi…” This time there’s no doubt. There really isn’t much of the fruit flavors that develop in the later steeping in this cup. Just that pleasant sort of honey-like sweetness.
2nd – 20s – I think this pot has an 8-10 second pour. I don’t know if people count the pouring time as part of the steep time, but for simplicity’s sake I’m not. As would be expected this brew is stronger than the first. Still not overly astringent and the astringency has that lovely sweetness to it
3rd – 20s – Thicker, with the same sweet crisp aftertaste. A bit strong for someone new to sheng puerh maybe, but quite good in my book.
4th – 20s – Same as previous
5th – 20s – Those fruity notes are starting to show themselves now. The astringency has settled into that remarkably crisp, sweet ending. Brews like this one cause me to make unreasonable demands on my teacup to not be empty for say the next hour or ten as I drink to my heart’s content. Oh well, back to the pot.
6th – 20s – Had an overnight break between the 4th & 5th steep. About halfway through this pot and getting a reminder of how strong the cha qi is in this leaf. Starts as a sort of gentle head rush and tingling and then this very calm alertness. Chemically I have no idea what to attribute it to (I’ve seen some pretty good nonsense out there), but whatever it is I love it. Makes this tea an awesome companion with I have to do some coding, editing or other high focus detailed work. Crisp, sweet finish. The first fruit note that opens up is a sort of plum/stone fruit… something. It’s good. Wish I had something better to compare it to.
7th – 60s – Didn’t mean to steep that long. Got distracted. No harm done of course, because this tea is obviously hell bent on kicking ass. Thicker brew, the astringency is crisp, sweet – a little deeper and long lasting. Has that dryness that you get with a full bodied red wine. Very nice. I think stone fruit and/or a plum that has just hit the point of being ripe enough to eat is the fruit note I’m picking up. I’m also noting a sweetness at the back of the throat that I didn’t catch before. The 6th & 7th steeps are near perfection. The one before and after are absolutely amazing, but these two steeps… it’s everything you want in a good sheng. Drank this one a little slower, but it still didn’t last near long enough.
8th – ?? – Got distracted with work and I have no idea how long I brewed this one. Had to do it Russian Samovar style and cut it with a little hot water. Still good, but can’t honestly assess it because I’ve no idea of the ratio I used and if it was what an 8th steep actually would have been like.