I'm not sure how one can tell the quality from the brewed tea leaves, but I guess that is something new that I should explore
Just make sure your brewing is delicate and very consistent before you go drawing conclusions by looking at leaf. How you treat it when you brew it affects the look afterwords quite drastically when comparing certain
'indications' of good processing/cultivation.
I do agree there is a lot of Li san hype esp among tea drinkers in taiwan (but the hype might be for good reason, otherwise there might not be any hype), but I don't have enough experience with the both to judge which is 'better'. Dunno if its even a good idea to compare the 2 like that, because what you are drinking as end product depends on so many other variables even after you account for elevation plucked, specific location from which leaves are plucked (ie. close to edge, far from edge, level of exposure to wind etc etc) farmer processing technigue/skill, surrounding vegetation type, soil composition and so on.
I imagine some connoisseur has a killer li san that would blow a 'premium' alisan out of the water, and