These are some casual session notes for a water recipe I created as part of my ever-continuing research.
Tea Urchin 2019 LaoManE
It started out very fluffy and nondescript, and kept that throughout the session, and there’s a strong astringency throughout. However, underneath those there’s a fairly cohesive quality, although it lacks a solid present weight. It’s as if the astringency breaks apart the “ball” of tea that would be there. The astringency is good quality, but way too much. Anyway, underneath all of this is the beautiful citrus-spice flavor, with less bitterness than expected. So… where’s this astringency from? Signs point to potassium, as it’s very common for it to cause astringency, but natural waters with potassium don’t have such a severe effect. They also have different compositions, though.
The body of the tea is really nice, as well as the residual oils. The throat/bitterness is not great, though. It’s too candied and mild, I’d prefer some deeper yun and stronger bitterness from this tea. Why is the bitterness so low? There’s plenty of sulfate, so it should be high. My only explanation would be an excess of bicarbonate due to a measurement or calculation error. The bicarbonate could be eating up the bitterness and potency. The last possibility is the zerowater pitcher making the water alkaline due to trace NaOH. This would be solved by purchasing a good RO filter.
I came back to water chemistry recently because I’ve been watching so many chemistry videos on YouTube – I realized that although the chemistry in mineralizing water is fairly simple, the work itself, the trial and error, and the problem solving is very deep and interesting. Hearing stories from research chemists made me feel like I’m in the same boat – trying to accomplish a goal and trying different ways to get there, with no idea when you’ll find the solution.
2012 TU the orchid in valley
Really highlights the woody aspects. Initial taste was not a good experience but it grew to be more engaging with high quality rear tastes and deep flavors with a little heat and acidity too. Very pencil shavings-y. A bit juicy, which is nice. Could be 3x more though. Astringency medium.
2017 YS wild jinggu
Water diluted to 3/4 strength
Immediately smoother, round, still has a weird bitter co2 taste maybe? But a beautiful presentation. It sort of tightens into a slightly astringent finish when I’d like it to expand on release. Overall a nice session.
Some encouraging results! These sessions will give me a direction forward for future water batches. I’m simply enjoying the exploration.