I can't figure out how to easily transform the table I created for this tasting into a text post here for TeaChat, so here is a link to the table as posted on my web page
. I thought these were all quite nice teas, rated from 4 to 5. I started with a tandem tasting of all of them, 2 grams tea to 60mL water in small porcelain gaiwans, water not too hot (185), and increased time and temp through the three rounds done together, then left the setup all day and did additional infusions of the various teas between other activities, adjusting those to the temperature profile of each tea. Not surprisingly, some were a little more tempermental than others. I loved the LiShan particularly, score 5 for the wonderful delicate floral/vegetal balance.
I have since brewed a few of the teas separately: Tried the LiShan again, this time straight at 205 degrees, and in an unglazed shiboridashi. The magic was gone, and it was just a nice oolong, brewed a little too strong with the opened leaves filling the shibo entirely. This was not 'wow!' anymore.
After 3 infusions, I broke out my little glass teapot, moved the leaves, and dropped the water temp to 185--the sweet spot where I started the first time--and the results improved dramatically. Not sure how much was larger volume teapot, cooler water temp, and how much the nonreactive surface, but the magic was back, and I enjoyed a total of perhaps 8 infusions before stopping.
Today, I brewed up a thermos full of the Dong Ding reserve, and as expected, the harsher roasted notes were muted with some resting time and it is keeping beautifully for delayed drinking.