Today, I tried the free sample of the 2012 Gu Zhu Zi Sun from Norbu and compared it to a newly-opened package (my last) of the 2011 that so delighted me last year. I'd been hoarding the 2011, really, probably longer than I should have.
2.5 grams of each tea with 80 mL water per infusion in a pair of Petr Novak iron-rich shiboridashis. I"m alternating tea with a honeydew melon, a very nice combination.
First infusion 180 degrees, 30 seconds: both delicious, vegetal, delicate. Despite being well-sealed, there is no doubt that the 2011 has lost a little bit of the floral freshness that is much stronger in the 2012.
2nd series 150 degrees, 30 seconds again: delicious, with similar differences between the teas again apparent--a little deterioration of the 2011 due to my delay in drinking it.
170 degrees, 1 minute: melon and cucumber, delicate and delicious, in the 2011; similar elements but an overlay of more floral/sweet freshness in the 2012. Still LOVE this tea so much….
180 degrees, 1 minute: bigger difference between them--the 2012 is a sweet alpine meadow of spring/summer flowers. The 2011 is the same but muffled. This is the best infusion yet!
190 degrees, 1 minutes: just enjoying the delicious scent first, delicate, floral, melon, flowers. Mmm. So happy. Delicious.
190 degrees, 2 minutes: again, the scent is so nice. Mmm. Delicious tea.
205 degrees, 2 minutes: mmm, mmmm
205 degrees, many many minutes--long enough for the liquid to cool to room temperature: tasty, but the leaves are done now, as there's finally some astringency apparent.