Sad gongfu sipdown (208)

I finally decided to sit down for another gong fu session. I had intended to use a different tea but I only had about 3 grams of that one so I ended up using the whole of my sample of this instead, which was 7 grams of tea in my 100 mL gong fu.

I prepped my gaiwan and then got ready to steep. Then I quickly realized I had no idea how long to steep the tea. So I turned to google and found a site that suggested to start with 10 seconds and then to add another 5 seconds per steep until you hit 40 seconds, so I {sorta} followed that method.

I got through 5 infusions before I gave up on the tea. Thankfully throughout the 5 infusions, I only spilled a little and did not burn my hand at all. So those aspects of my gong fu experimentation has much improved.

As for the tea, I was really disappointed. The steeped tea had an awesome milk chocolate aroma. One that reminded me of Teabento’s Jiri Horse. It just smelled delectably like chocolate deliciousness so it was upsetting when the tea, which was steeped for about 10 seconds, tasted sort of how I remember Red Rose. That plain black tea flavor that we all experienced before getting into tea and in my case the flavor that made me think I disliked tea. It was drying and astringent, but not bitter and was rather thin. The second steep was steeped for 20 seconds because I forgot why I was counting and tastewise it was the same as the first cup, but more and bitter. The second steep got dumped. Then the third steep was 10 seconds and more of the same. At the fourth steep, I grabbed a new cup, hoping that would make a difference in taste and it did not. Then the fifth steep was just 5 seconds to try and curb the astringency/dryness and ended up tasting like nothing. I gave up after this.

So, all in all, the gong fu session was a fail but also an improvement technique wise so there is that.

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My cupboard has grown exponentially since joining this site and I have a lot to share. Feel free to snoop through my cupboard and message me if anything interests you – I am always happy to swap!

For me, flavored teas are definitely my sweet spot. I will most often reach for black teas and rooibos or honeybush blends but I do keep some flavored whites and greens around for when the mood strikes. I have a few herbals/tisanes but most of the time I find myself disappointed by them as they often smell deliciously sweet and then end up tasting tart/sour. I have a little bit of an aversion to pu’erh and oolong teas. I am also wary of florals, earl greys, and chai teas. I do not like overpowering citrus flavors nor do I usually like hibiscus, licorice or chamomile. I love dessert teas – caramel, vanilla, toffee, cookie, cream, and other sweet flavors make me smile. Fruits like strawberry, peach, mango, and pineapples will often catch my attention as well.

I have also realized that although I really enjoy adding frothed milk to some of my teas, if I do not like the tea with zero additives (just in plain water without milk or sugar), I probably won’t drink it. The one exception is flavored matchas which I will happily drink in cold milk if I do not like it mixed with hot water. My theory is if the tea can’t stand on its own then it is not for me and I will more than likely try to swap it out for something else.

Tea Ratings Guide (as of December 10, 2017)
90-100 Teas I NEED on hand at all times
80-89 Teas I want to keep around for a cup every now and then
70-79 Teas I am glad I have around and can experiment with but probably don’t need more than what’s in my cupboard
60-69 Teas I would not turn down a cup of from a friend but that would probably be enough
50-59 Teas I can see why someone would enjoy but are not for me
Under 50 Teas I really did not like and most likely got dumped


Thornhill, Ontario

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