Maybe it's a stupid idea, but you could try to let it sit in a little jar for some time .. Try it costs nothing.
It could be that it would improve with a little sit time in a jar. I kept working with it; compared to other quality teas I have in a similar style/range, this tea is a bit shy. It needs to be coaxed forth with a little longer time. I brewed it yesterday, 6g in a new Andrzej Bero 90ml glazed kyusu with Fiji water at 92-94deg. C. I looked at my notes from prior brews and decided to let it go long. I brewed the first round for 3 min. and got a much more pleasant experience. It was not extraordinary but pleasing. Like I mentioned, the tea seems a bit shy and is not as robust or as eager to reveal itself as other Alishan Jin Xuan teas I've drank. I enjoyed the pour but would still not order it again.
ethan wrote:Does the tea have any pleasing character?
E.g., if it has a milky mouthfeel, you might give that tea to someone who values that feeling above all else that tea might provide.
A gift of "awful" tea would not really be a gift, but if the tea is not offensive, just weak & boring -- it might make someone happy.
It's funny you post this; I did consider gifting it as a tea to someone but realized the same as you that it may not be such a gift after all since the tea was, to me, a bit shy. Sometimes I keep a mediocre tea or a troublesome of unique tea on hand to pour as a base comparison with teas that are more representative and quality for a certain style. This way if I give a formal tasting people really appreciate the better quality tea.
My experience with mouthfeel is that it is much more dependent on the water used, the type of kettle used, teapot and cup clay/glaze, etc. But there wasn't anything overly distinct about the mouthfeel.
I enjoy the surprise of how the tea presented itself and the challenge of opening its essence. It's just that I have been drinking a lot of qing xin cultivar tea from, primarily, the Lishan region and was looking forward to an enjoyable return to Alishan and jin xuan.