o Quantity: Half the sample packet/110ml
o Water temperature: 90°C
o 3 infusions: 45, 60, 60 sec
Stream of consciousness notes (ie. Don’t think too much, don’t care about grammar, just write what you are experiencing as you experience it)
- Dry leaf aroma: tcm (traditional Chinese medicine) stores (herby, sharp, earthy, musty… it’s a very distinct smell that is only found in those shops… ugh… I know that this is not a helpful description for those who have not been), dried fruit, roots, mushrooms, faint amount of sweetness, incredibly powerful aroma overall
- Dry leaf aroma in heated gaiwan: the tcm store smell intensifies, and there is a faint amount of cocoa added
2 sec wash
- Throat: sweet pastries and baked bread, sharp sweetness, a hint of caramel
- Wet leaf aroma: tcm store smell followed by a softer note of fresh pastries
- Liquor color: medium red with a bit of with brown
- Liquor aroma: soft sweetness, a faint note of the tcm store followed by sweet pastry note, and a faint note of milk chocolate
- Taste: pastry note hits first followed quickly by the tcm store, however, it is more faint than the pastry, that note then fades into bread, malt, and a hint of cocoa. mouthfeel is slightly oily. medium length. no astringency. medium body. overall sweetness lies between sharp and warm/soft. it’s not a strong sweetness but it does coat the mouth and is present during the entire sip.
- 2nd infusion aroma: the note of milk chocolate is stronger in this steep. Overall very little degeneration in aroma and consists of same notes of first steep.
- 2nd infusion taste: the tcm store note is barely noticeable, the notes of cocoa and malt are stronger and blend into the upfront pastry note quickly. body seems a bit thicker.
- 3rd infusion taste: tcm store note a bit stronger than in the last steep, everything else is almost identical
- 4th infusion taste: all notes have been muted, pastry note is mixed seamlessly with the tcm store note, bread and malt notes are faint, overall a very light steep, the tcm store note lingers longest
- Spent leaf aroma: wet bark mostly followed by the tcm store note, a tad of sweetness and baked bread
At some point, I will come up with a list of what the strongest aromas in a tcm store are in an attempt to better describe this tea.