Sampler Sipdown September! I’m trying out the other Bi Lou Chun I was gifted from Derk, thanks so much Derk! I’m attempting to do this gong fu style, using my shiboridashi, though I’m only using half its capacity since I don’t feel like drinking two cuppas on each infusion, which comes out to about 70-75ml of liquid per infusion. Therefore I measured out my leaf keeping that amount of liquid in mind, and will still have enough of my sampler left to get to try this a few other ways, as well. Woot.
Gong fu / 2.2g /175F / 70ml / 30s|45s|60s|80s|90s|120s
On the first steep I got an aroma of green beans and anise, and the flavor was very in line with that; it was highly vegetal, with a strong savory bean taste containing notes of green beans and peapods, with a hint of anise spice on the finish. My second and third steeps brought out a much stronger anise aroma, and suddenly the tea smelled like a savory cooked meat, like a seasoned porked or bacon! Maybe my senses are just off because I’m on day three of a migraine attack, and that is entirely possible, but… I’m also tasting savory, peppery cooked bacon. And I have no complaints about that. Who doesn’t love bacon!? (Apologies to my Vegan BFF, but we all know you call yourselves Vegans because you are actually from a planet in the Vega star system, and therefore are aliens, not humans. Ya, we’re all onto you. I’m talking about actual humans here). On the fourth steep the aroma is more peppery, and the flavor turned more vegetal, a bit like watery greens, with just a bit of a floral sweetness, and then right at the finish a mixed pepper/anise spice note comes out on the back of the tongue. The fifth and sixth steeps were very sweet and floral, with subtle honey and gardenia notes and a bit minerally. It felt like the tea was weakening by that point so I didn’t push it any further.
Western / 1.9g / 175F / 370ml / 2m|2m30s
The western brew is very sweet and floral, with a slight watery vegetal/green bean note toward the finish, and a very subtle hint of anise at the finish. The strong spice note I was getting before isn’t present, and the sweet flowery taste that only came out at the very end of the session is present right from the start. This is still fine with the more delicate flavor, but since I really liked that spiced bacon flavor mid-session, this is one I prefer gong fu style… because again, bacon! Since my leaves hadn’t fully unfurled in one western infusion I did resteep this just to see if a second infusion brought out any differences. The leaves were fully extended by this point, and the cup had a much stronger and less delicate overall profile, but I still tasted a honeyed/floral top note with a vegetal/beany finish. Very smooth, no bitterness, and a mild drying/astringent feel to the tongue after the sip.
Flavors: Anise, Drying, Floral, Gardenias, Green Beans, Honey, Meat, Mineral, Peas, Pepper, Smooth, Spices, Vegetal