Yesterday I tried this in the gaiwan and it was so unremarkable I didn’t even bother writing a note about it.
In was, in fact, so uninteresting that I decided I was doing something wrong. So I spent some time reading about Da Hong Pao.
As a result, I upped the leaf to 5g for a 100ml gaiwan. I also upped the water temp to over 205F.
It’s better this way for sure.
The tea is an apricot color. First steep @15 secs. has some roasty notes, but also something floral and fruity, which was all but lacking yesterday.
Second steep @20 secs is amber colored with a stronger floral roasty scent and a woodsy flavor. Also, for the first time, I understand the “wet rocks” thing. It’s a hot mineral-y note sort of like rain on hot pavement.
Third steep @ 25 secs continues to have a floral aroma, similar to what I usually find in much greener oolongs.The flavor has a woodsy note with some fruitiness, like sucking on a peach pit. And the wet rock thing again. The aftertaste has a surprising sugary note.
Fourth steep @30 secs is a little less strong in the floral aroma, with a sweet toastiness in the flavor. I’m not getting plum, but I can see why people do. The aroma turns a bit plummy/raisiny as it cools.
Fifth steep @35 secs has a similar aroma and flavor to 4. The empty cup smells of plums/raisins. The wet leaves smell like hot minerals.
It wasn’t as interesting to my tastes as the JK Teashop one I had recently, but based on this experience and the other I had recently with hotter water for an oolong, I’m thinking I could go a bit hotter than 195F with the water for all my oolongs at least as an experiment and see what happens.
I might try this in the dark oolong yixing next time, which I fear still needs to suck away a fair amount of flavor before it can start giving back.
Flavors: Floral, Peach, Plum, Raisins, Roasted, Stonefruit, Toasty, Wet Rocks, Wood