Morning, 7:30 am. It appears sunny outside and is apparently in the 50's.
I remembered to warm the cup and do the rinse (I sometimes forget to do one or the other at my makeshift tea station at home)
1st steep: near boiling water around 10 sec.
Oops, steeped it too long...very bitter in flavor.
2nd steep: 4-5 sec.
Tea is nicely scented. Flavor still unbalanced. Now it may be my inability to steep tea properly for the time being, but I'm wondering if this is really the Roasted Golden Buddha Hand...the first scent of the dry leaves seemed slightly off and while it is extremely bitter (due to my errors), it does taste slightly different overall..but then again, I may just be overly paranoid that Tim is trying to trick me with giving me the wrong information. I'm also wondering if maybe the fact that a lot of the (for lack of a better term) dregs were in this cup, it's affecting the flavor. A lot of the broken pieces that had been at the bottom of the bag, when poured into my bag to carry home, ended up on top, and into this first cup. I'm thinking that it is having a greater effect on my tea than I had anticipated.
3rd steep: 1-2 sec. Water is cooling down. I've decided to leave the lid off the gaiwan to prevent the tea from cooking more.
4th steep: I waited before steeping this one (went and cooked some eggs and came back, so the water has cooled significantly). I steeped it for only a second or two with the cooled water. The tea seems to be getting closer to the right point but certainly isn't there yet.
5th steep: since the water has cooled even further, I tried steeping for 4-5 seconds. Better, I think.
Anyway, time to rush to get my lunch together before heading to class! I didn't listen to the leaves as much this morning because of being slightly rushed and I think I've seen the effect of it in the tea...