Seeker wrote:Sampled #3 first.
Used 1/2 the sample in a 3oz gaiwan.
Boiling water for 1min...
I haven't tasted the teas yet, but a 1 min first steep for a dry stored brick from (I presume - the late) 90's will probably bring out some astringency and bitterness.
Since you've still got half the sample left, you could try beginning with flash infusions to make it more pleasant to drink.
I suspect this may be part of what Brandon was trying to show with the 2 teas that he submitted. People often clamour for dry storage but it isn't necessarily better - especially with this age of tea. A dry stored late 90's tea really needs another 10 years at least to round out the bitter flavours, but I suspect the wetter stored tea he submitted will be smooth and ready to drink (providing it hasn't been stored too much at the other extreme).
As with most things in life - It's a case of needing to get the balance right.