I went on a small Mahamosa spree recently (I LOVE their EG Cream), and I decided to try some teas of nationalities with which I was not familiar. I got a Russian tea, a Kenyan tea, and this Nepalese tea.
I prepared this in the gaiwan tonight. I started reading a guidebook-type thing to tea yesterday, and it makes me want to be more precise and refined with my tea brewing.
So of course I completely did not measure the amount of time on the first steep at all. It’s somewhere between 30-45 s.
The dry leaves are mostly small and dark brown-black with some lighter flecks. There are longer leaves among the short ones. Wet leaves lighten in color, and have a fairly full-bodied wood/mud aroma. Liquor is on the lighter side of amber.
The word that comes to mind when tasting it is “mulch.” I’m not sure why. It’s almost a woodsy flavor, but it’s just on this side of earthy-astringent. It’s actually fairly brisk.
The flavor grows another angle on the second steep. It’s a flavor whose angle goes “down,” goes deeper. It’s a flavor that I’d normally find kind of weird in other things, but here it’s just part of the experience. It’s hard to describe, but I keep wanting to say mud? There’s something almost mossy about it. An edge of something resembling sweetness.
On the third steep, the highs and lows of the tea have evened out, but the woodsiness is more defined. Now I really imagine gnawing on mulch, or even wood products. It’s a pleasantly rounded flavor.
Had I not taken the time to do the very involved tasting with this – complete with gaiwan and slurps – I would have probably drank it and thought, “Eh, that’s alright.” Honestly, it doesn’t jump out and grab me, but I find it enjoyable, especially during this third sip in which the woodsiness comes out.