tl;dr: Woody shou with pungent, sweet presence. Dominated by notes of dry wood and bark with a leathery finish in a clean, mid-mouth feel. Easy to overbrew at first at the cost of a very, very mild astringency, but also easy to make too thin if underbrewed.
4/5, easy to drink, but not “full” enough for my tastes.
5g leaf. 75ml gaiwan.
98C, 5s rinse.
Smell: Extremely sweet, like sweet potato.
98C, 5s steep.
Smell: Less sweet, more forest floor with some subtle tobacco notes.
Light mouth-feel, clean, thin.. No bitterness. Brown, brown-amber color. Taste of clean, dry wood. As the leaves cooled, the smell went back to full strength pungent/sweet from before as opposed to immediate post-steep clean/wet wood.
98C, 10s steep (wanted 5, burnt thumb)
Smell: Even less sweet than after first steeping.
Mid-mouth lingering, mild astringency, otherwise similar to before. Color is now dark as night, and was so as soon as the water hit the leaves. Some forest floor flavors, some mild cooked flavors. Definitely oversteeped.
Curious about the smell disappearing with the higher temp water.
80C, 15s steep
Smell: Sweetness didn’t stick around much more than first steeping, but returned more quickly.
Flat, thin flavor. Probably understeeped at that temperature. More decayed wood than previous “wet forest” flavor.
80C, 1min steep
color definitely didn’t appear as quickly when the water was added, so extending the steep even further than normal.
Scent was still the same as the 98C steepings, so I guess my experiment didn’t go as planned, and it took 1.5min+ to reach the the same color/viscosity as before.
Mmmm. Strong earthy flavor in a medium, mid-mouth feel, relatively viscous liquid complimented well by the mildest of sweetness and woody notes. Best steeping so far. Some after-taste of leathery-ness, not quite astringency I think.
Smell of sweet potatoes is still accessible, but I have yet to taste it in the tea itself. More leathery notes in the smell the more steeping I do. No leather in the flavor, however. Hint of leather in aftertaste, but dominated by woody, bark notes.
After three more steepings it sizzled out into a generic, mild shou.
It could definitely have gone more than 10 steepings, but I had to get to work.
Flavors: Decayed Wood, Forest Floor, Sugar, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes