Brandon is a devotee of the wee pot of tea (repeat to infinity). So he was amazed when Becky produced a gaiwan of perhaps 10 ounce capacity. He dubbed it the monster truck of gaiwans.
Accordingly, he decided we would pack this beast to the brim with white tea. Folks, I don’t know how to explain this, but it just isn’t done. It’s like playing thrash metal on cellos. Gong-fu is done with oolongs and pu-erhs. Years ago I asked a now-departed Random employee to make me some green or white tea gong-fu style, and he gave me a quizzical look and said, “that doesn’t fu.” The decision was all the more surprising because Brandon can sometimes seem like the model of tea orthodoxy.
“I never understood white tea,” he said; “I can’t taste the flavor.” Gong fu uses a higher proportion of leaves than westerners typically use, so the flavor is more intense. This may be why green teas aren’t often brewed in this fashion–perhaps their astringency becomes overwhelming at higher concentrations. Looking at the white tea selections, I recommended the Fuding White Treasure over the Drum Mountain White Cloud. The former has a crisp, bright flavor, whereas I imagined the latter’s vegetal tones would get harsh and sour when amplified.
So how did it taste? It was a mud-bogging, car-crushing, mobile-home-bulldozing rampage of flavor. OK, it just tasted like stronger Fuding White Treasure. Am I misremembering cucumber? Apparently thrash metal on cellos works too.