We have Gong Fu. I repeat, we have Gong Fu!
Yes, you read that right. I’m trying it again. I came into acquisition of some small cups designed, not necessarily for Gong Fu, but for a more relaxed and gentle tea session. They are I’d say about 4-6 oz cups, and now that I have them (well, one) I am trying Gong Fu again.
I’m not exactly being scientific about this, just sort of mimicking what I see on all those youtube videos.
Anyway, after a quick rinse, I steeped for about 5 seconds. BTW: The leaves in the gaiwan smell like sweet potatoes and hay. I don’t like sweet potatoes. We’ll see how this goes.
It was very strong at first. A bit too robust for me. I tasted malt and leather, but a good deal of harsh tannin as well. As the session progressed, the tea mellowed out, turning smooth with cocoa and yes, sweet potato notes. However, I didn’t hate it. Those sweet potato tones shifted to apricot on the final two steeps, leaving a lingering sweetness in my mouth once the session was over. Overall, once the tea softened a bit, I found myself enjoying it! It’s not bad fixed this way. In fact, it’s pretty darn good! According to steepster, my original rating was 82, but I somewhat remember not liking this tea, so that 82 might have been before I stopped rating everything high, regardless of if I liked it or not. There’s no tasting note that I can find, so I have no idea.
As for the experience, I was almost sad when the session was concluded. I got a good seven or eight steeps from this ranging from the initial 5 seconds to about 2 minutes. I will say that one problem with gong-fu for me is that my Breville doesn’t possess a keep warm feature, so I can’t keep the temperature consistent, and I certainly don’t want to re-heat the water. Once I get that new kettle (hopefully next month) and I redo my kitchen, I may invest in a proper full gong-fu tea set. Nothing fancy, just something a bit more extensive than a single gaiwan and a teacup. I do think I would like a small teapot at least to go with it, and actual gong-fu cups. The small teacup, while nice, was still way too big for what I was putting in it!
So, my final thoughts. Well, guess what. I think I’m going to break my habit. I now see that gong-fu can greatly improve the texture/flavor of good quality tea. So hopefully, in the near future, I can try this again. Maybe I can acquire a nice Wuyi to try it with.
Showtune of the Moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7X-st2QPc
Flavors: Apricot, Leather, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin