Used about 1/3 of cake (3g) in small gaiwan that holds about 50ml. 200 degrees, 10 second wash to start. Dry leaves were very fruity with sweet florals. Went 8 infusions (30 sec, 45, 60, 75, 90, 2 min, 2.25 min, 2.5 min). Lovely golden brew that got darker over the steeps. First was very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel and honey sweetness at the front and strong floral finish (but not too perfume-y). Lid of gaiwan after second steep smells just heavenly, creamy floral aroma; taste is sweet flowers – honeysuckle? Starting with third infusion, sweetness gradually recedes, but still pleasant smooth floral; starts tiniest edge of dryness. Lingering milky floral aftertaste becomes more pronounced. Flavor mostly held steady through steeps 4-6. Steeps 7 & 8 began slight flavor loss and mouthfeel on finish was dryer & thinner – but not weak or unpleasant at all. Put spent leaves in 8 oz water to cold brew & try out tomorrow.
Update: those “spent” leaves still had quite a bit of flavor left in them! Cold brew had prominent creamy florals, refreshing & pleasant
Update #2: Tried the remaining cake (~6g or so) in 10 oz just-off-boiling water for 2 minutes. Aroma is strong & lovely, much more honey giving way to floral. Color is honey, too. Flavor is nice; at first I feared it was weaker & less complex than in gaiwan, but it’s actually just a different experience – maybe “gentle” is a better word. Brew is lightly sweet at first, then gives way to very smooth, slightly milky, lingering honeysuckle floral, but not quite as strong as in gaiwan. Definitely picking up notes of fruit this way that probably were overpowered with gongfu – hints of mild white peach or perhaps Asian pear. (Prepared this way, reminds me very much of the “Snow Pear Oolong” from Silk Road Teas I tried at a restaurant.) Second steep (8 oz water, 2.5 minutes) brews up a little darker & aroma is less floral. Flavor has much less floral, though smooth honeysuckle is still there in the lingering aftertaste. Hint of dryness creeping into aftertaste as well. Overall very nice. While gaiwan preparation was lovely, I think I prefer it this way – should have followed the package instructions to start with!