This tea is tripping me out right now. I've had it many times before at a high temperature, near boiling, and its been fine, lovely even, but not this zowie-powey heavily-perfumed second and third steep that I am just now backing away from in wonder and total delight.
I thought my temp was about 205f. I used three and a half grams for a 100ml gaiwan. Sipped at first rinse, no flavor. Second steep, maybe five seconds and POW! "Wait, WHAT?!" I ask myself. "Did I misread with my old eyes and put Jasmine tea in the gaiwan instead of the Bao Zhong? Goddamn, no wonder this is called 'Farmer's Choice.' Did that farmer sell his soul to some fabulous flowery-fairy queen to imbibe his tea with this deliciousness that is now freaking me so happily out?"
I have got to email Shiuwen, the lovely and helpful guide and proprietor of floating Leaves Tea to find out more about this tea. I've been brewing it really hot, as Shiuwen suggested, even though I have also read from some drinkers of Bao Zhong to steep at a far lower temperature, and frankly, I can see why if this is the outcome. Seriously, this is creamy, floral out-the-wazoo, and has a long-lasting sweet, yet tart note that lingers in the back of my throat even now as I write this.
Nice to start Sunday morning with a truly surprising session, that doesn't happen all that often anymore, and its just the thing to get me up and moving, out of my chair at the tea-table and into my chair at the computer desk to tell you all about it.
Yes! I just found THIS, so not only is it still available, its on sale! Got to love that Shiuwen for so many reasons, my top one, aside from her smile, is her pricing and oft-held sales!
I have enough tea to not have to buy tea for another year but I am doing just that, going and buying some of this right now before its gone.
Sweeter than last years harvest, she says.
I don't know about last year's harvest since I wasn't even drinking tea 'way back then' but this is the sweetest and most lovely tea I've had thus far.