65

(Only seem to have time for western & cold brewing these days. As with several others I’ve sampled recently, I hope to try gongfu with this tea soon and will update.)

Tea is from summer 2016.
Western (5g/200ml/95 C) – pkg directions for western brewing call for pretty heavy leaf of 8g/300ml, so tried to stay close to that ratio.
Dry leaf is very fragrant & pleasant, but hard to describe. Smells bright, reminds me of dark cherries and some spice?
3 min – Very pretty red brew. A little malt up front, quickly moves to some dried cherry fruitiness and some earth, and wood & floral to finish. Maybe some hints cinnamon & vanilla? Smooth with some tannins on the finish, but no bitterness. Had to work hard to pick out these flavors, though – overall impression is pleasing but limited.
4 min – Similar, though flavors are lighter.
6 min – Ditto.
No changes between infusions, no real complexity – just generally ok brew that grows weaker.

Cold brew (1g/100ml; 1 resteep @ 1g/50ml blended in – a little too weak on its own)
Nice sweet black tea aroma with cane sugar notes. Taste is lighter version of “darker” flavors like cocoa powder, dried fruit like prunes. Unfortunately resteep on its own has a strange wet cloth aftertaste – it blends nicely into the first infusion, though. Like with western, flavor is good but not very interesting.

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I’ve been a tea drinker for at least twenty years, but only began to explore fine teas in the last few. 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 (tiny sample sizes and time commitment often being limiting factors), I like to brew each tea I try a few ways: gongfu style, western style, 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.

I’m hoping to gain more education in greens and whites. I’m intimidated by (but curious about) pu-erh. Oolong and black teas are my go-tos.

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North Carolina

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