One of these nests weighs over 5g, so I cut one in half and stuck it in the gaiwan. Rinsed, and steeped at boiling for 10/10/20/30/40/60/120/240/300/360
The nest didn’t have a particularly distinctive smell when dry — not fishy, a little sweet. After steeping it made a cherry wood color liquor that got darker with the first few steeps and then, rather abruptly, started to fade until it was a slightly coppery light yellow for the last few steeps.
This is pretty much what happened with the flavor, too. It had a nice intensity to it for the first few steeps, then faded away like it dropped off a cliff. I probably could have stopped at 5 or 6, but I soldiered on. The lighter intensity had its own flavor, but compared to the deeper intensity, it was a bit wan.
I remember as a kid going to the zoo with my mom. Whenever we got the the camel enclosure she’d tell me not to get too close because the camels would “spit tobacco” at you. Now, since camels probably don’t put just a pinch between their cheek and gum, I understood this to be metaphor.
Perhaps because of this association in my mind, though, my taste buds immediately went to tobacco for the dominant taste in this. But it was more than that; it was the scented tobacco my dad used to smoke in his pipe that always had some sort of alcohol flavor name. I’m thinking rum, here.
But all that goes away by steep 6 or so. I’d rate it higher if it had more staying power.
Flavors: Rum, Tobacco