I sat down looking at this tea as it sat post-rinse opening up, trying not to think of.all the info I’ve read online at Badger & Blade so as to taste wuth no preconceived notions.
It didn’t really work, but fortunately opinions were all over the place, so it’s not like I had any single strong impression anyhow.
The first infusion, around 10s, was a potent little brew, definitely grabbing my attention with a modest astringency and still very present (but pleasant) ku. The Bulang leaves it was supposed to contain werr very much in evidence, in all the best ways. I decided it would be unwise to make the second infusion any longer than the first, but I failed.to observe that a bit of leaf had wedged itself in the spout. That’s where the session took a turn for the strange.
The leaf chunk turned my poor pot’s pour into a painfully slow forty second affair. I cleaned the spout out as I pondered the option. I wasn’t about to dump it out, as there’s only samples available so I’m working off a mere ounce. I could dilute it with water, but that seemed… unkind to a tea of such cleanliness and beauty.
So I did what any good pu-head would do, and drank it.
The feeling in the mouth was of a thick soup. followed by the exact feeling of when my Italian grandmother used to pinch my cheeks as a young boy, but from the inside. The bitterness was very strong, but somehow still lovely. Then it hit my head like I’d been in one of those nature videos showing bighorn rams fighting it out during mating season.
Perhaps, indeed, this had been a bit more potent than I should have gone with.
I dank several more infusions, of a more moderate nature, but I cannot be trusted as a reliable observer as I spent the next little while reeling from the knockout blow of that second steep. I seem to recall thoroughly enjoying them, and am pleased to report I woke up the next morning in my own bed, with all my possessions and clothes accounted for.
In the name of science, I brewed the leaves again (they were on around 10-12 steeps now) three or four times with a clear head to see if I could make sense of the later steeps. I found them thoroughly unpleasant, with nothing remaining that would lead me to believe it even could be the same tea.
Either these are leaves that do not sit well (and I firmly believe some do and some do not, at this age range) or in my stupor from that overwhelming second steep I overlooked a great many flaws.
I’ll have to try it again to be sure – but at least I know how make the session memorable if it really isn’t doing it for me.
Just hold onto my cars keys, please.