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

175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers, currently working in the field of Machine Learning. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a main flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

My profile photo is by inkpug!


Austin, Texas



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