I got my gaiwan all ready and my water started for this tea, then opened the bag and poured…powder…out of it. Didn’t realize it was a ctc black! I didn’t really have my Western setup with me, so had to improvise with a kyusu.
The dry leaf smelled like Blackberry or prune, rum, and a bit of malt. After I put the tea in a warmed teapot, I got spicier notes, as well as some cherry and licorice.
The first steep, at 90s, was very dark in color and sorta frightened me. Thankfully it wasn’t bitter. Got woody notes and licorice along with some berry fruitiness. I also got rummy notes, and as the tea cooled, the spice became more apparent.
Second steep was 2m. It was drier and woodier with oak barrel and vanilla notes. It was also less fruity and I didn’t get any licorice.
Third steep was around 5m. It was weaker and a bit bitter, with light fruity echoes. Didn’t go beyond this, because as a ctc tea I don’t think it would have gotten any better with more steeps.
I think the best way to drink this tea would have been to Western it and just brew the fuck out of it for one good teapot of it. Maybe add small splash of milk.
Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Licorice, Malt, Oak, Rum