Filtered Santa Monica tap water just off the boil throughout. Poured from a pear-shaped purple clay tea-pot into a glass cha hai, and served in a porcelain (“peony”) cup.
6 infusions (no wash), 45 seconds to 4 minutes: Marigold to gamboge liquor, a bit of sediment (seems like a lot more in the bag); Deep roast notes in the nose, nutty with a whisper of smoke; smooth toasted sweetness on the palate with hints of walnut and daylily. Some scalded milk notes emerge in the finish. Increasing earth and wood on the palate as you raise the temperature or infusion time; Soft, low astringency if not over-steeped. No char.
Robust, responsive, and clean for a dark roast – somewhat one-dimensional at the moment – this might be a good candidate for further aging (it’s only 1yo at present).