[T]he Shiraore is tasting great, I'm consciously/unconsciously brewing it right. I always wanted one of those small infrared thermometers for cooking and brewing tea.
And here's my reply:
I'm glad you like the Shiraore. It's very different from ordinary green teas. For instance, today I accidentally let a batch of Shiraore brew too long -- perhaps 15 or 20 minutes. However, where other green teas might taste very bitter or otherwise unpleasant, the Shiraore tasted great -- not too bitter, thick and rich, but not overly grassy. It's an amazing tea.
An infrared thermometer sounds interesting, but my personal philosophy is that brewing tea is an art, not a science. My overarching rule is Keep It Simple. In other words, we should train ourselves not to rely on thermometers or timers and instead cultivate the ability to intuitively know, for instance, how long to let boiled water stand before pouring into your mug or teapot, and how long to let the tea brew.
For instance, my goof-up in letting the Shiraore overbrew today is all part of my training not to forget a cup of brewing tea!
Thanks again for your feedback, and please don't hesitate to drop me a line again if you have any other comments or suggestions.
As for that brain training, although I eschew watches and timers as a way to remember my brewing tea, I have learned one trick to reduce my chances of forgetting: placing the brewing tea within my field of vision, as opposed to behind me, as I did today.
Live and learn!