As I’ve mentioned previously – I have a coworker who is currently getting her Sommelier Certification & I’ve been helping her with the course work/tastings. This is the same coworker who was recently in BC and picked up a bunch of teas from Cultivate Tea to bring back for us all the taste.
She drinks Gongfu w/ me all the time in the lab when I’m brewing, but a couple of my coworkers and I were finally all free at the same time for us to give her a crash course on brewing Gongfu so that she could take her first crack at it! It took my two years+ to build up to brewing Gongfu, but she got there in less than six months! She picked this tea to make for us all, and with some gentle guidance she brewed it up like a pro!
We went light leaf and longer steep times, because we all agreed that was probably the best choice since strong leaf and small steeps seems like a recipe for burnt fingers and over brewed tea for a first time using a gaiwan. I certainly remember the burnt fingers…
She brewed for about five people and it was a small approx 80ml gaiwan so we basically all got a sip or two of each infusion – which was three in total. It was a short session, but they all came out nicely and it was a really great starting point in her Gongfu journey! I thought the Rou Gui she had purchased was nice enough; it was a little light for my tastes (a result of the leaf used I think, not a reflection on the tea) but had some mineral/rocky and toasty roasty notes that I love in Rou Gui along with a dry cinnamon/woody quality and a finish that was very cannabis heavy! The last infusion was beginning to break into that floral territory but we didn’t steep long enough to really get into the floral part of the tea.
It was just a really nice experience just getting to be a part of her first time brewing Gongfu!