Libertatis wrote:With regards to rolled Oolongs,
I always rinse my oolong. Just pour some hot water in the Gaiwan, swish the leaves around a bit, and pour the water off. You will notice this really brings out the roasted smell and flavor of the tea (as well as opening the leaves up a bit). I have found that rinsing the leaves improves the taste of the first brewing. (though typically 2nd and 3nd steepings for green oolongs are my favorite).
Like Libertatis, I rinse my oolongs. Always. In fact, I rise all my teas. The reason behind this is twofold.
1) It removes dust, dirt, grit, and other demons that might have attached itself to the tea during the packing process.
2) It brings out the flavor, and aroma, of most teas.
I use a gaiwan for all my teas. Pour a bit of water over the leaves so that the water saturates the leaves. Whisk the water around the cup or pot to make sure, then discard it. Simple as pie.