AlexZorach wrote:I'd actually recommend trying hotter water, not cooler, since you said in the original post that it seemed too bland, rather than too strong. My experience is that if you get unpleasant qualities in the cup (too bitter, too astringent, etc.) it's a sign you went too hot...but if it was just too bland, you might do well to go hotter.
I might be a little careful with this advice. My experience with super-high quality Chinese green teas is that if the water is even slightly too hot, it completely looses its flavor. So, my unqualified diagnosis might be that the water is too hot. Keep close attention to the heating water, and pull it off the heat as soon as the shrimp eyes start winking at you from the bottom of the pan.
I also want to reiterate what many have said so far. Use more leaves. If you want a stronger flavor from a delicate tea, this is what you must do. I'd love to hear how the brewing went in the gaiwan.
The only time that I've tried a good Bi Luo Chun was at Seven Cups in Denver when it was open. It was by far the best green tea experience that I've ever had. Then again, they have a special machine that keeps the water at any desired temperature, to the degree. Every time I try to take one of their high-end green teas home, I have to try at least three times before I get the temperature right. Even the slightest bit too hot or too cold, it loses its flavor. I've noticed that up here in Denver, I usually have to let the shrimp eyes grow into crab eyes before it works well for most green teas like a good long jing, green bamboo, or purple bamboo, or etc. However, there is one tea, the meng ding gan lu 2011, that likes the temperature to be at around 175 before it submits to yielding its best flavor to me.