The dry leaves seem to contain more chocolate brown coloured leaves and present one with a smell of deep foresty muscatel. Within this, there is a hidden floral sweetness that reminds one of the turning spring.
One mindfully prepares this tea, scooping the leaves out of the foil with bamboo. The sound of the leaves hitting the bottom of the pot further relaxes ones mind. The sound of hot water hitting that same bottom pushes ones mind deeper.
One sips at this tea from little Korean ceramic cups. The first time one brewed this tea using the same perimeters as the other first flushes, it didn't turn out so well. One added less leaf this time. And upon first sip it seems much better. There is a nice full soft coating mouthfeel with very floral taste and backnotes of classic Darjeeling muscatel where last session just held a smokey, bitterness without much taste at all. The colour of the liquor is not so vibrant, a gritty yellow, an 'intoxicated morning after urine' kind of gritty yellow.
The second infusion is good and tastes much like when one brewed it with more leaf but this time there isn't the strong overpowering bitterness. There is still a slight tail of bitterness in the mouth that it is just as noticeable but not as strong. This is a very Darjeeling cup of tea with a nice balance of flower, grape, and muscatel. By the second infusion ones stomach grumbles under the mean energy of this tough tea.
The third infusion is chalky, gritty, and mostly bitter which trumps most of its nice flavor. This tea dies before it even gets going. Unfortunately, less leaf doesn't prevent the inevitable. By the time the third infusion comes along there really isn't much left of this tea.
Nonetheless, one pushes on with this now almost flavorless tea. If anything this tea teaches us to savor what we got while we have it. So when we don't, we'll appreciate it all the more.
This tea would benefit from the old English style of making tea. Its suffering is only agonized by the flogging gong fu session.