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Today's puerh was the first time I've taken one tea and compared it
between gaiwan and seasoned yixing pot. The term 'seasoned
yixing' should be taken lightly here: this is a very cheap pot
($6.99) that has been simmered in hot water, simmered in tea, and had a
lot of tea steeped in it overnight--part of a redone seasoning program
for all of my clay pots. But it is genuine unglazed clay, holds
water and heat, and tea can be made in it.
The tea was spring 2009 Lao Ban Zhang Mao Cha Sheng Pu-erh (loose tea)
from norbutea.com. I used 1.6 grams leaf (did trade a few
straight overly long leaves for some slightly curled ones to get all to
fit without breaking leaves), trying to keep about 1g leaf to 1 oz
2 20-second rinses first (this tea has a strong bitter start)
5-second infusions thereafter: wait 5 seconds, start pouring,
takes about 10 seconds to get all out), have gone up to about 12
previously, so far only up to 5 on this pair, but running out of space
for more liquid even with these tiny vessels
Leaves are variable sizes, 1-2 inches (3-6 cm) long, mostly intact, twisted and curled but not
rolled tightly. The liquor is yellow, sweet, delicious, some
vegetal and herbacious notes, a bittersweet undertone, little
astringency, and really no earthy or smoky notes.
As for the gaiwan vs yixing, I found the sweetness and liquor seemed
slightly stronger from the gaiwan, as though the yixing clay is keeping
some sweet for itself. Just a tiny difference, not so obvious in
every infusion, but when I could detect a difference, it was the
gaiwan-brewed that was sweeter.
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