Brita filtered tap both.
SR directions were to 200-205f for 2-4 min. No tea:water ratio was given though, so I just did 1.3g to 120 mL, 200f. Taste was, broadly, slightly smoky honeyed hongcha profile, though slightly lighter. Steeps of 2 min., 3 min., and 4 min. before I got bored. Aftertaste is sweet and sugary, with slight floral aspect, not really grainy per description though.
4 min: died down into something like a light shou-mei and reminiscent of chrysanthemum tisane. I didn’t really get the nuttiness and creaminess in the description either. Left tongue slightly dry on 3 min. steep.
Did a different steep too, with 2g:50mL with 180f.
10s: light green tea-like taste, very soft with slight malty floral, sweet aftertaste. 15s: more of a malty taste, though still decidedly soft. some raisin in taste. Crisply sweet aftertaste, same with slightly tongue drying as in the more lazy brew style before.
20s, 25s, 30s: pretty similar. light floral and honeyed malt taste. Not much in the way of change. Shorter steep times and lower temp. seems to bring out a lighter green tea-like profile. Could’ve continued but was bored and tossed in with the other leaves into thermos. Thermos brew yielded a nice brew reminding me of coffee in some ways. I guess I do understand the nutty and creamy note here, though there is a slightly sharp, but quick disappearing bitterness present that is enough that I’d recommend initially brewing with a lighter hand and watching temps. here.
It seems like Korean Hwang-cha is one of those difficult to pin down teas, and though called yellow tea, very different from Chinese yellow teas. Dry leaf definitely smells like a hongcha, with its alternating notes of raisin, chocolate, slight roast, and floral. The wet leaf shows a slight roast presence, and the raisin-like note along with the usual malty hongcha-reminiscent base.
I have a pretty strong aversion to hongcha generally, but I will say that of this being the second Korean hwang-cha I’ve tried, these are somewhat more palatable to me though I wouldn’t repurchase once I finish my packet. Not terrible for the price. I don’t purchase much hongcha (the description really suckered me for this one, alas), so I have no idea what’s good value or not. I’d guess it might be on the more expensive end for them at about $0.43/g, but Korean teas seem more expensive than Chinese in general.