The larger the tea leaf the better? Well, if I have the choice between leaves from the bottom or the top of the barrel, I am going to buy the large, whole leaves that float to the top, not the "dust" at the bottom. The larger leaf grades of any given tea generally sell at higher prices than the broken bits do.
So, I go to my local tea store and buy a nice Ceylon bulk tea, with big, 2" leaves. These are nothing like the fannings I am used to seeing in black tea bags, although the bags are often composed of Ceylon black tea as well. So... I measure out about 2 grams, the same amount found in a standard tea bag. I brew it with boiling hot water, for about 4 minutes, just as I would a teabag, without the spatial constraint of the bag. The big leaves float around, uncurl nicely, and release their sweet tea goodness. But lo, the leaves produce a weak, insipid tea. I like my tea strong, that's why I went to buy the best grade Ceylon I could find!
With my usual morning tea needs not in the least bit satiated, I decide to take my frustration out on my new tea and commit the ultimate act of tea aficionado sacrilege. I take about 2 grams of the glorious leaves, that spread their wings wider than any tea exported from Ceylon, and I crush them into smithereens. And what do I get? Nothing less than expected--a potently dark cup of cha. YES!
So why is it that we like to pay lots more for big leaves, and then brew them so ineffectively? Hasn't it ever occurred to us to learn from our coffee-drinking rivals, and grind our high grade tea down for better extraction? Sure, big leaves look pretty, but they just don't do the trick unless a huge amount is brewed, or unless their big-headed megalomaniacal egos are properly put in their place and pummeled into the low ranks of the tea profiling hierarchy.