I had a delightfully puzzling experience with steeping my Golden Snails sample in a gaiwan. Compared to my Oolong drinking friends I’m almost blind to bitterness or astringency, but I had a hard time preventing this tea from hitting too hard.
Got a tip that could help me tailor my steeping? Take a look at my technique and let me know!
Water: In house R/O
Kettle: Electric Cusine-art Tea w/ temp control
Gaiwan: 100 ml
Tea weight: ~7g
Temp: Tried 190, 200, and Boiling
Time: Flash Steep (pour it in, pour it out asap)
+1st steep @boiling: Super sweet, but balanced by a flash of green-tea-like astringency and some umami qualities (brothy?) Loved this steeping!
+Steepings 1-8 had a sweetness detectable by the tip of the tongue. Steeping 9 and 10 did not.
+Steepings 2-9 had an intense, lingering combo of black-tea bitterness and green tea astringency that distracted me. Temps 190 and 200 made little difference in fixing the problem.
+Discovery: the practiced sipping technique of a person suffering from too much attention to detail took the spotlight off the bitterness. Aerate enough and coat the tongue from tip to tail and the balance starts to come back.
Tried 5 grams instead of 7 and this made all the difference in the world. It has a tiny bit of astringency but in perfect balance with the rest of the tea. Got this idea from the TeaDB youtube channel. One of the guys will, instead of lowering temp, drop the leaf to water ratio.