GUYS!! IT’S HAPPENING!! MY FIRST GONGFU STEEPING SESSION!!! I finally have a gaiwan thanks to Roswell Strange and now I feel like I am on a new level of tea drinking. YAY! Or maybe not yay because I can see this inspiring spending. Look how cute all the teaware is though: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0SFC3_hOsa/?igshid=tonuknbumysd
Anyways, I chose this tea because a lot of the plain teas recommend weights for mls and this just said 2 pieces for 200 ml. So I ordered a scale for tomorrow and then popped 1 piece in my new 100 ml gaiwan.
Per the instructions, I rinsed the tea for 10-15 seconds, though probably longer because the gaiwan conducted much more heat than expected.
My first steep was for 1 min. Or 1.5 mins by the time I got it all into the cup, because again, hot. Then I came here to start my note and then I went to instagram and now I am drinking it. The tea tastes very similar to how I remember it tasting brewed Western style. Malty, though this is a bit more earthy, maybe a touch grassy even. I am new to this so sorry this will probably be terribly non descript. It’s also slightly metallic.
Do you guys put the lid on when you steep? Or just use it to strain the tea? The second steep was 30 s, though more like 50 s once it all made it into the cup. I tried a different pouring method and mostly got boiling tea on my finger. Also tea trays make much more sense to me now since a lot has ended up on my counter as well. This cup is smoother than the last. A hint of smoke. I wanna say the tiniest touch of vanilla right at the back of the sip? Maybe honey? I have no clue what I am doing here. Clearly.
Steep three is 90 s, well actually 98 s. I am getting better already! This one is sweeter but back to being a bit earthy…like honey coated wood…or leather. It’s syrupy but I get wisps of smoke.
Finally steep, per the package directions is 3 minutes. While it steeps, I’m just going to say I think I have to do a guided gongfu where someone tells me what to expect and then I can see if I have any real sense of what I may or may not be tasting. I know everyone is different but I think it would be fun. Ros, I am looking at you.
Okay, back to the tea…this was like 3 min and 18 s by the time it got into the teacup. This one is leathery. Much more leather than the last and I don’t know if there is actual smoke or I just associate smoke with leather flavor. It’s also got some raisin to it. That is what is contributing the sweet this cup as opposed to honey. And some malt is back as the tea is a bit thicker of a mouthfeel.
Alright. That was fun. Thank you Roswell Strange for making it happen. It’s super interesting how the flavor can change steep to steep. Plus, my family was also highly entertained since I basically pulled a kitchen chair up to my kitchen counter by the kettle and sat in the corner, facing the corner, steeping tea, and writing this note. I feel like more time and a better set up would make this more enjoyable. How do you guys usually go about gongfu brewing? Do you move your kettle somewhere comfortable to sit and relax? Do you put water in a pot and take that with you? Do you set up a kitchen chair in the corner of your kitchen? Give me all the advice, steepsterites!