30s rinse, then tried to press the gaiwan lid into it (uselessly), smells a bit sweet. Then I followed the actual instructions and waited for a few minutes before trying to press the lid into the ball again, at which point I was able to basically break it in half with the lid.
30s: Weirdly long, but the instructions recommend that for the first steep to finish breaking it up before brewing normally afterwards. Looks cloudy. For the first time, I’m totally getting what folks describe as “beany”. No other word fits better. (I want the Rancho Gordo folks to try this tea!) Smooth, and there’s a nice huigan that shows up eventually.
9s: Even beanier, with a bit of vegetal bitterness adding some interest. This is so weird and savory, a light but flavorful bean broth. I think this is the best go I’ve had at a dragon ball, gotta remember that this really is the right technique! Makes me more open to them, though I still dislike how big they are (I often prefer 4g to 8g when drinking alone!).
15s: Notably more bitter. It’s not overwhelming, more like instead of plain beans I’m having collards and beans for breakfast. It’s actually pretty yummy, in an unusual way. Maybe I should make actual beans with collards and pork for dinner, that’s sounding really good right about now. After the sip, there’s way more sweetness in the back of my throat than before, and very light stonefruit in the gently cool huigan. I keep liking it more and more.
20: A bit less beany, maybe some… citrus? And the start of mild astringency, very light mouth fuzziness and then brief stickiness.
25s: The citrus is early in the sip, then it’s beans again, and the astringency is getting a bit stronger. The end of the cup as it cooled a bit had some more bitterness, briefly. Then, again, sweetness in the back of the throat and maybe an earthier cool breath after.
30s: The savoriness has become just sort of a muted base. Some citrus remains. The fuzzy stickiness remains mild but present. The ending bitterness goes further down my throat, takes a bit to fade into moderate dryness. My forehead is starting to feel a bit heavy.
Later steeps became sort of citrusy (but without being sour!), with everything else about it becoming less intense. I didn’t get much energy or body feels aside from that bit of head heaviness, but I really liked the flavor and the aftertaste for a while there and could imagine maybe grabbing a few more at some point just for the yums.