Thank you to Eric, proprietor of The Fragrant Cup, for this sample!
An afternoon of private students is the perfect opportunity for me to brew tea in my Gaiwan, & I’m happy to say I’ve got my technique down!
I opened the sample package to find lovely buds, looking like large oat groats, with a light scent of fresh linens drying in the sun. Per Eric’s instructions, there were 4 steepings:
1) 1.5 minutes: The scent & taste is of a creamy breakfast cereal, like cream of wheat. Very soothing!
2) 2 min: In my minds eye, I see a bowl of that creamy hot breakfast cereal, topped with butter, cream & a spoonful of honey.
3) 3 min: hint of vanilla, linen, paper?
4) 4 mins: right before I did this steeping, I smelled the buds & they had taken on a bitter petro-like smell. That taste & smell didn’t carry through to the tea itself, but this last cup was more astringent, but not unbearably so.
All in all, this was a really pleasant break from all the black tea that I’ve been drinking (& loving!). Sometimes you just need a different perspective.