Since I boiled the new pot yesterday with tea, it’s now ready for use (I decided it probably wasn’t necessary with the other pot I got — the one for puerh. It is well seasoned already and hardly new). So I ended up brewing some of the 2006 rougui that I bought from Lao He.
Surprisingly, the tea came out almost not aromatic at all. Nothing. Now, I’m pretty sure they gave me the same tea that I tasted, because I watched them do it (unless there’s a secret lock in the cardboard box — unlikely). The leaves are also similar looking. I don’t think I added too little leaves. One possible explanation, as I’ve heard before, is that my new pot is soaking up flavours, leaving very little for me to taste. The tea still has strength, and there’s an aftertaste, but the initial aroma is not there. It’s somewhat of an odd feeling.
The best infusion, as is usual, was #3. There, you could taste the tea, the aftertaste was very present, the flavours were nice and sweet. After drinking, there’s a feeling of slight coolness down the throat, and this lingering taste in the mouth that is somewhat floral and fruity, as a rougui should have. But it’s still not very aromatic. There’s no sourness, and nothing really unpleasant in the way of charcoal taste either, both of which are good things…
If I were really scientific about it, I will make it again tomorrow with a gaiwan, and see if the tastes come out differently. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. If it does come out differently, then I think I can say with some confidence that it’s the pot, and that over time the pot will get better. If it’s not, then…. well, I don’t know. Lao He didn’t exactly brew it with a lot more skill than I did, I think. He also used less leaves. Maybe less leaves is the key? I don’t know.
Anyway, a shot of my new pot in action. I’m getting closer to realizing the goal of having a pot for basically every kind of tea that I drink, so that I don’t waste tea on gaiwans.