365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 29
Gongfu cha time!
Okay, this tea probably wasn’t the best choice for the gongfu treatment as the flavor didn’t change all that much between steeps, but I still really enjoyed the ritual of it all, and it was fucking freezing today so I was craving some cozy green tea goodness!
This was also my first time using my new mini tea tray and double-walled glass cha hai. I very much enjoyed them both, aesthetically and functionally!
The dry leaves were beautiful and had a sweet, soft aroma of alfalfa hay, freshly cut grass, and bean sprouts. I started with a 5s rinse, which I tasted (of course). It was so delicious and full of flavor that I adjusted my planned steep times to start shorter and increase more slowly.
As I said, the flavor here didn’t change a whole lot during the session. The first couple of steeps were very smooth with a strong vegetal spinach note and a lovely creamy, roasty nuttiness reminiscent of cashews. There was also a soft grain note that melded seamlessly with the nuts.
I followed TeaVivre’s directions and started at 185°, but once I started to find some bitterness in the second and third steeps, I reduced the temperature to my usual 175° and had better results. There were some light apricot and floral notes that showed up in the middle steeps and stayed until the end. Otherwise, the flavor remained somewhat vegetal with a nice combination of sweet and savory notes and a strong nutty presence.
As the flavor began to fade, I found the vegetal notes lightened first, which left me with a delicious sweet and nutty infusion that I practically gulped down.
I really do love long jing. I’m sure in the future, it would make more sense to steep it Western-style, but I have no regrets! :)
4g – 120ml – 175/185°F – 5/10/20/20/30/40/60s
Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Floral, Grain, Nuts, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal