I’ve been mostly drinking tea in a “casual” way these days, using a yixing pot and brewing as I go, throughout the day. The thing that strikes me the most, but not at all surprising, is that the teas come out very differently when brewed this way. It’s obviously going to be the case given how this is not the regular gongfu brewing, but nevertheless, some teas come out really well, while others are simply not well suited to this purpose at all. For example, I had a roasted shuixian brewed this way, and the result is quite awful — a lot of charcoal flavour without much in the way of depth. When I make it the regular way, however, it comes out quite nicely.
Another issue is simply the selection of tea — some teas work with this, while others don’t. A light tieguanyin is going to taste nasty when you make it the way I do now, with sometimes hours between infusions. The tea will be a bit nasty, astringent, and bitter. Cooked puerh, for all their faults, come out all right no matter what you do, which is why these days I am trying to exhaust some of my cooked puerh supply. Another kind of tea that works very well is aged oolongs, which also don’t get bitter no matter what you do. It makes life easier.
This, of course, also explains why this blog has been rather slow these days — I just haven’t been drinking that much new tea recently. Unfortunate, I must say, since I do miss the daily sitting, but at some point, I suppose, real life intervenes.