You're probably thinking I've been soaking myself in that 2007 Douji I wrote about in the last post. Sadly, that's not the case. Instead of sipping tasty teas I've been laid out with steaming mugs of Theraflu. *bleh* But I roused myself this morning for another lovely tea session. Today's tea of choice is a sample sent to me by The Essence of Tea -- a bit of their 2010 Nan Nuo.
I continued with my water experiments for this session, brewing up two separate gaiwans. On the right below is plain tap water and on the left is a brand of bottled water called Crystal Geyser, said to be "alpine spring water, bottled at the source." Unlike the Fiji water there's no information about mineral content other than a vague reference that it contains trace minerals, but similar to the last experiment the bottled water pulled more color (plus taste and mouth feel) from the leaves --
The initial taste showed bitter at first but soft on the tongue. A pleasing lightly slippery quality to it. The bitter note was more rounded with the Crystal Geyser water, with some butter in the nose and taste. The mouth feel is again slippery and full. The tap water tea is much thinner by comparison, with a more one-dimensional taste. As I poured the second infusion with the Crystal Geyser water (10 seconds for the first, 12 seconds for the second) the air filled with a floral aroma. The fragrance from the wet leaves confirmed it. The soup and leaves with the tap water on the other hand showed only hay and grasses.
By the fifth infusion the aromas in both gaiwans were starting to settle. The tap water experiment finally started to reveal some floral notes while the bottled water one seemed to maybe give off hints of what the future might hold with a bit more age. I had fun pulling out a sampling of the spent leaves. A few tips, a few stems, with plenty of leaves of varying size and maturity, including some thicker meatier ones with strong spines --