So this morning I tried 2 tsp in about 12-14oz water, at 140 or so for 1.5mins. It was actually good! The flavor wasn’t too strong, it tasted sweet, and made me want to make a 2nd cup!
This tea might actually be a fairly decent sencha/low quality gyokuro that is worth it if you don’t want to break the bank. Perhaps those other really bad times were operator error?
Part of the problem is that I think it is fairly delicate, and I either had the temperature too high, or I tried brewing it more to Japanese tastes (more tea, around 3-4tsp, and less water, 6-8oz). When the temp was too high, it was very bitter, and when I had too much leaf, the color turned so dark green and it smelled like grass and dirt/mud it was so earthy.
Anyway, I’ve almost finished this off; I don’t plan on buying it again, but only because there are too many other things I’d rather try first. If I can get it to taste like this again, using the same parameters, then I will raise the rating.