Gongfu (2.5g/50ml/205 F) – 10 sec infusion to start, adding 5 seconds following, then pushing out much more after steep 5.
Strip-style oolong. Dry leaves have very light aroma, though pleasant – fruit, malt, cocoa. Wet leaves add a toasted note, as well as some earthiness.
Steep 1 (10 sec) starts off light; not much aroma, flavor is crisp & just a little fruity (very mild raisin?). Leaves smell almost syrupy on steep 2, and flavor is a little sweeter. Tannins start up strong. Steeps 3 & 4 increase dryness; tiny touch of bitterness. Steeps 5-8 grow thinner, more crisp, and the tannins are all over the place. By 8th infusion, the flavor is greatly decreased. Overall impression is not unpleasant, but not complex or particularly yummy, either – nondescript.

Tried grandpa style with remaining leaves (2.5g). Made a smooth brew that never grew bitter, but flavor also stayed light & kind of boring.

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Learning to brew gongfu style in my first gaiwan made me aware that not only is there an amazing array of teas out there to try, but each tea has the potential to have a great variety of flavors revealed by different preparations.

I’m still figuring out what works for me as far as tasting notes/ratings, but whenever possible, I like to brew each tea I try a few ways: gongfu, western, cold brewed. I’ve enjoyed seeing how these treatments change any given tea, especially since some teas may fall flat in one preparation but improve or shine in others.


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