Here we can discuss the various Chinese green teas, tea merchant sources, brewing styles, and post tasting notes as well as questions.
This morning I'm playing with two teas that are not oolongs or pu-erhs.
'First quality silver needle yin zhen' from chado tea and 'Emerald lily ancient tree organic green tea' from Rishi.
I have been smelling the leaves per the instructions in the Harney & Sons guide to Tea, and am surprised by the disconnect between the leaves and the liquor.
I am doing both in gaiwans, and don't have my scale handy yet because I just ordered it last night (getting this one from Amazon--ashtray pocket scale), I can't tell you precisely how much i used, but it was as close as I could visually approximate, with the lighter silver needle tea taking up about 2/3 of the volume of the gaiwan, and the green tea about 1/2 filling it.
Both infused the first time about 2 minutes with 173 degree water. Even at this cool temperature, there was a quite noticeable bitterness about the green tea, although also some lovely floral/fruity flavors, that was nearly absent from the silver needle; and the silver needle was much fruitier and sweeter. After the infusion, the silver needle leaves smelled a bit sharp and bitter, but there was very little of that coming through in a 2nd infusion; the green tea did carry the bitter smell even more into the tea on the 2nd infusion, however.
A 3rd & 4th infusion of the silver needle (with water that had been allowed to cool to about 160 degrees because I was lazy) were both still lovely, with hardly a hint of bitter, although the leaves now have a strong vegetal odor that is not coming out in the liquor.
The 3rd infusion of the green tea, with the same quite cool water, is even more bitter, really almost aggressively unpleasant in the aftertaste, although the first notes are pleasingly fruity, while the odor of the leaves seems similar to the silver needle, but just a lot stronger.
Interesting how the silver needle maintains that sweetness along with the vegetal or grassy notes, without getting bitter, but the green tea bitterness overrides the sweet fruity notes almost immediately.