I’ve measured out 3.5g of this tea for my ~80ml gaiwan. The leaves are predominantly green with some older brownish leaves thrown in. I spot a few fuzzy silver buds here and there as well. The dry leaf reminds me of a sweet, springy leaf pile with no autumn mustiness. In a warm gaiwan, the leaves smell like deeply savory, salty edamame.
With the first steep, I get overcooked edamame off the gaiwan lid and a spicy medicinal smell from the leaves. The liquor is a clear pale yellow with a green tinge. It’s quite strong in the mouth with a more savory, salty flavor.
The gaiwan lid smells more like fresh sweet greens on the second steep. The liquor is darker and the flavor is beginning to remind me of asparagus. Surprisingly, there’s a substantial sweet aftertaste recalling unripe fruit. The multicolored leaves make for a nice kaleidoscope-like presentation in the gaiwan.
The third (and fourth) steep is similar, but stronger and darker in color. If you’ve ever had soup with leafy greens floating around in it, this steep tastes like those greens. Gai lan or bok choy is a pretty close match. It doesn’t taste like the veggies have been stewed to death – they’re cooked just right. Some earthy bassyness that reminds me of huang pian is developing now. The sweet aftertaste from the previous steep has mostly left.
For steep number 5, I’m bumping up my water temperature to 195. I feel like I’ve seen what this tea has to offer at 180, so bring on the heat. The result is predictable – everything is a little bit stronger and the additional heat has brought out a woody note. Not a bad thing, but not something that I typically enjoy. The tea has decent body but it refuses to thicken up like I hoped it would.
Steep number… eight or so? I forgot about this one and left it about a minute longer than I meant to. A lively citrus (lemon, I think) note has appeared in the last couple of steeps. Pushing this tea doesn’t add any bitterness or astringency. A nice, accidental discovery. That’s got me thinking that this may be a good candidate for grandpa style brewing – I’ll give that a try next time.
This tea is not extremely interesting and that’s reflected in the price. It makes up for its shortcomings with consistency and its ability to shrug off abuse like it’s nothing.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Earth, Lemon, Salty, Soybean, Vegetables