Please let me know if this question has been answered previously - my search didn't give any enlightening results.
The question is: When brewing shengcha, do you put an entire chunk pried off the bing into your pot/gaiwan, or do you break up the chunk into individual leaves prior to brewing?
Or perhaps I should rephrase the question: why do you use chunks or leaves?
Most descriptions found online speak of chunks - but I prefer to carefully break up the chunk into whole leaves. I feel that I get a better impression of the tea and how to brew it when I can gauge how broken the leaves are, how many buds or stalks are in the blend and so on. And of course I get the chance to play with my tea while waiting for the water to boil.
Whith modern 'boutique style' stonepressed shengcha, I often get bings (or rather: samples) which fall apart into individual leaves at first touch. But with some factory bings (am drinking some 2007 Fuhai 7536 while writing this) it is difficult to break a chunk apart without breaking too many leaves.
I understand that brewing a chunk will give more infusions of similar strength at the start of a session. But are there any other points in favor of brewing entire chunks?
Thanks for any advice,