wyardley wrote:I guess part of this depends on your definition of gongfu. I typically use less leaf (by both volume and weight) for red (black) teas than with most oolongs or older pu'ers, but I do employ a fairly similar brewing method.
There may be exceptions, but to me, most true red teas (that is, fully oxidized, not a modern lower oxidation darjeeling or things like that) will not change as dramatically from infusion to infusion as oolongs, and that may be one reason that people tend to use a bit larger vessel, less tea, and longer brewing times.
I don't find dramatic differences in oolongs from one infusion to the next except maybe the first to the second, where the flavor and aroma deepens because the leaves are fully saturated with the hot water.
I have had very good results using small vessels and more leaf with Darjeelings. The key is volume of leaf to water. This can only be found by experimenting and won't necessarily be the same from one Darj to the next. But as far as filling up a gaiwan or small teapot with Darj (gongfu style), I never do that. For me, it's a waste of tea as all the subtlety of the tea is overpowered by intensity. I have found that I lose my sensitivity to tea through traditional gongfu brewing (filling the pot with leaf).