I love oolongs and I think our Tieguanyin is excellent. So does my friend the Chaozhou tea drinker. The cup on the left is how I - and most people - brew oolongs nowadays. The one on the right is how he brews. Chaozhou is a region between Fujian and Guangdong provinces and tea lovers there are known for making very strong tea, using lots of leaf and long brewing times.
My friend said my tea is weak and does not allow the true character of an excellent Tieguanyin to shine, which to him are "the namesake metallic note, the sour fruit note, the dry & sweet after-notes, the earthy aroma, the beautiful amber liquid and the thick viscosity."
We tried several cups of tea brewed his way, which is double the normal amount of leaves and 3-5 minute steepings. Wow, the brew was so strong and powerful! We were wired, as if we had taken shots of espresso. Do people really drink tea that's this strong on a regular basis? My friend does and loves his tea this way, which is fine by me since he has to buy more tea from me, haha! I must admit that a strong brew allows you to see all of the tea's strong points and flaws. I enjoyed our session, but still prefer a more moderate steeping time. I always say, though, that one should drink tea in whichever enjoyable way one chooses to and to not be too stuck on following set rules.