As a result of an online tasting, aside of each individual's taste, experience and preference of tea, same parameters resulted in very different outcomes. That raises my question in duration of steeping. Even though it's 10s on paper, does that 10s include pouring in/out time? I think some would clock 10s after closing the lid then pour, which technically speaking adds 5 to 15s to the total steeping time depending on how fast you pour and from what vessel, in turn, can be significant for delicate teas, particularly greens.
My practice of 10s, is from the time the first drop of water touching the leaves to the last significant drop of water comes out of a pot or gaiwan. Which is a quick pour in and out, almost immediately. Steeping time is when tea leaves are submerged in water in whole or partially, to my understanding.
Lately, I pay more attention to the technical aspects of making a good cup of tea, I feel less relaxed about drinking tea. My initial liking of tea was emotionally driven. The mental setting, yi jing 意景 is what I enjoyed the most. Not to say that the quest for science in tea isn't important, it is over rated in the US. All the science proofs, researches and what not circulating in the media definitely generate interest, however it's the kind of interest to seek a magic pill. How many bonding benzene rings are there in a leaf?! I might as well pop a green tea tablet. Although it's all about tea, I personally feel science is clouding the pure tea drinking experience. My tea tastes much better when my mind is cleared of science and skill. After a while, one can establish his own set of skills to make a good cup of tea, it becomes habitual or auto pilot that emphasis can be focused on enjoying the taste, experience, surroundings, companies, etc etc. So if I over steeped a brew, tea is kinda like human, you can mess it up and still be loved!
I remember days when my girl friends and I had little tea gatherings after nice dinners. We talked mostly everything else but tea. That is what tea meant to me, tea is there to enhance our lives, not consume our lives.
The semi-official LA tea club have gathered a few serious tea tastings, I enjoyed it very much. The new friends I made, the generosity of the members, the knowledge I learned from them, the new teas I got to taste otherwise not, and more. In future gatherings I would like it less tea fanatically formally oriented . Yes, I know it's a tea club! Now that we got pass that initial awkward stage, we can drink tea like old friends do, tea is just the glue. Hey gang, love you all!