7.8 g / 130 ml / 212 F
20 second wash / 90 second pause
Steep 1 – 15 sec: Translucent red-ish liquid. Aroma of mushrooms growing in damp earth. Light flavor – has not blossomed yet.
Steep 2 – 15 sec: Dark coffee-like liquid. Prominent mushroom aroma. Taste is mineral and dirt (not great). Dirt faded a little as the cup cooled. I’m hoping this gets better.
Steep 3 – 15 sec: Dark coffee-like liquid. Peat aroma. Flavors more integrated and hard for my untrained palete to pick out. Dirt is gone (yay!). Leaves a dry feeling on the tongue, which is interesting.
Steep 4 – 20 sec: Semi-translucent dark red liquid. Faint wet earth aroma. I found myself sipping this without paying much attention to it since nothing really stood out, but it was enjoyable.
Steep 5 – 25 sec: Translucent dark red liquid. Mellow damp earth and mineral aroma. Tastes a bit like a Keemun at this stage.
Steep 6 – 30 sec: Translucent medium-dark red liquid. Aroma of wet moss on rocks. light black tea flavor. This seems to be nearing the end.
Steep 7 – 60 sec: Clear dark red liquid. Very faint aroma; can’t quite place it (mineral?). Flavor is mellow but surprisingly fruity and sweet when hot, fading out as it cooled.
Steep 8 – 180 sec: A hail-mary to see if anything is left. Clear medium red color. Faint aroma I can’t quite place. Faint earthy flavor. It’s pretty weak at this point.
This tea was never cloudy and never astringent. Very low caffeine and only moderate energy, good for an evening Pu-Erh; I’m slightly uplifted but not buzzed. This strikes me as a decent, affordable tea to drink while working late. Enjoyable except for steep 2 … will see if that repeats in the future or if it was a fluke.