I’m learning a lot from those who have left insightful comments! I cannot stress how important it is to “air out” or “rest” one’s new tea before trying it. Then, and maybe relatively less important, allowing the brewed leaves to rest again for a min or two after the first rinse. Here is a great example:
I opened this sample over a week ago and wasn’t terribly impressed. The flavors were more woody, or hay-like, more astringent than bitter, and it had a one-note kind of sweetness that left me a bit bored.
It has been chill’n out in a ziplock bag for over a week. Recently, I’ve experienced surprising changes in flavors and textures from teas that I’ve let rest for at least a week. So, I gave this one another shot:
I placed a 6 gram chunk (no tea dust) of the sample in my 100 ml gaiwan. I let the leaves rest for a few minutes after the first rinse, allowing the leaves to open at their own pace. I was rewarded with something completely unexpected. The the tea liquor came out a very clear and bright pale gold. Much better compared to the first session which was more opaque. The dried leaves smelled of sweet grapefruit, apricots, and orchids.
The each infusion is very pure tasting and unexpectedly fruity with a very pleasant bitterness in the background that gradually increased in later steeps. Very nice huigan, mouth feel (kougan), and fruity aftertaste that resulted from the bitterness. This continued past the 7th steep. This tea reminded me of a Lao Man’E (dare I say!) I tried back in Beijing.
One bonus was the tea blossom I found in the brewed leaves. :)