Please share your knowledge of how to judge a tea's quality, besides the price.
I will share the way I judge TieGuanYin, the oolong that I drink the most. But please share your knowledge, I am especially interested in all Wuyi Rock tea.
This is only my way of judging TGY quality, it is by NO MEANS any kind of formal method, and please addend your criterias.
1. Look at the dried tea leaves. Usually tighter rolled leaves are better. Tie in TGY means iron. So for a good TGY the density is said to be close to iron. Therefore the denser and tighter rolled leaves are better.
2. Unlike most Wuyi tea, where taste is more important, for TGY scent is more import.
3. The TGY should impart a strong orchid smell. As you brew the tea, a good TGY should give you whiffs of that scent even with the pot lid closed.
4. As you drink the tea, there should be only a quick slight bitterness that is immediately followed by a change to sweetness, and any bitterness left should be overwhelmed by the floral scent.
5. Bitterness is ok, but it is not ok if the tea is astringent. It should slide down very smooth. It should not leave your mouth sandy feeling. A good TGY should give you a slippery feeling in your mouth.
6. Aftertaste should be very long lasting. That sweet floral scent left in your mouth should last at least half hour for a good TGY. For a premium grade GYK, you can drink the tea, go have a light meal, and still have the after taste.
7. The floral scent should stand up to repeated brewing. At least up to 5 brews.
8. After brewing, examing the leaves. The leaves should be green in the center surrounded by a uniform rim of red color.
Please share your judging criteria. Especially on all Wuyi tea. I am especially interested in high fired DaHongPoa and BaiJiGuan.