I went through the whole package (~25g?) before reviewing because I was determined to give this a chance, as it’s from the closest thing I have to a “local” tea shop (at least an hour away)…but I couldn’t get it to work for me. Package directions for western brewing are 1 tsp/8 oz/ boiling water/3-5 min. All I could taste this way was roast; not “roasted something,” just…roast. Fortunately it didn’t quite cross over into straight-up carbon, but it was close. If I focused really hard I could sometimes get an ambiguous nutty aftertaste. I tried more and less leaf, different infusion times, and cold brewing – but no improvement. Finally I tried brewing at 90 C, and that helped a little. I could make out a bit of earthy/wet foliage taste in the front, a little cocoa powder in the finish, but still the almost totally dominant flavor is roast. Really can’t recommend.

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Learning to brew gongfu style in my first gaiwan made me aware that not only is there an amazing array of teas out there to try, but each tea has the potential to have a great variety of flavors revealed by different preparations. Whenever possible, I like to brew each tea I try a few ways: gongfu, western, cold brewed/iced. I’ve enjoyed seeing how these treatments change any given tea.


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