On my last session with this cake – it has been an almost daily drinker for me at work lately.
Brewing this in my Jian Shui gaiwan into my glass cha hai and porcelain cup. Using filtered Santa Monica tap water just off the boil throughout. Not weighing the leaf, but I’m guessing I use between 9g and 12g of material. The dried cake has a distinctive camouflage appearance with an abundance of black and white leaves.
No rinse, but I start the initial infusion at 90 seconds as the tea is so dry. At this point the liquid is a royal yellow and has a distinctive aroma of fresh hay with a hint of oats. The flavor is sweet, gentle, and faintly grassy. Earth, toast, and honey emerge in the finish.
Subsequent steeps are around 20 seconds, resulting in a darker, alloy orange liquid, a more vegetal (autumn leaves) aroma, and a slight acidity in the palate entry. The hay remains at the core, but there is a certain low level bitterness that emerges now, presumably as higher oxidized portions of the cake wake from their slumber.
This easily lasts 10 infusions once it gets going – the caffeine is sufficiently pronounced that I usually quit imbibing before the leaf is fully spent.
An interesting, if unremarkable tea – the white/black combo was new to me – happy I bought a cake, but not sure I’ll develop a craving for it in the future now that it is gone…