Here’s my last Laoshan black 5g sample, divided into 2 different tastings.
2017 harvest. Dry leaf smelled like chocolate syrup, caraway and red fruit.
First go was gongu with 2.5g, 60mL, 190F, no rinse, 8 steeps at 12/20/30/40s and 1/2/3/5m.
I just could not pull any significant flavor out of this tea prepared gongfu. It was nice and light with a taste and consistency of thin rice milk with some chocolate, an undertone of raspberry and subtle high notes of vanilla and honey, all drizzled on a slice of almost-burnt wheat toast. The raspberry devolved into a generic sourness. In my attempt to extract more flavor, I increased the temperature to 200F in the third steep but that turned the tea quite astringent, so back down to 190F.
I decided to do a western brew with the remaining amount. 2.5g, 8oz, 190F. Two steeps based on color. The wet leaf after the first steep smelled very strongly of raspberry and chocolate syrup. The aroma of the liquor was similar albeit lighter. The tastes were basically the same deal as gongfu but with the loss of the high notes. There were additions of mouth-watering minerals, a lingering sweetness and astringency in the throat and a very light minty effect that opened my sinuses. Definitely enjoyed it more this way. It tasted very clean. Western was the winner preparation for me.