Dragon Well - 1st Grade

Cups to a sweet and nutty liquor, hints of chestnut.

In our annual search for our highest grade of Dragon Well, we apply 3 criteria: appearance - looking for consistency in leaf size, shape and coloration; aroma - vegetal sweetness and clean and, finally, taste - we cup the leaves, release its flavors, then taste and with good fortune, we find one of China's true gifts of spring. A "famous tea", our "Long Jing" is artisan crafted, made with a first-grade leaf; one will note its consistent "feather-shaped" size and golden-jade appearance, both characteristic of this prized green varietal.  The leaf is hand processed in a wok accentuating its sweet, nutty notes. This lot has a robust, offering a natural sweetness with only a hint of underlying astringency.   Tea was harvested in April 2018.   Lot # 8-1.  

Lot notes
A signature spring tea, we look for a Dragon Well that brings unusual aromas and flavors to the cup. Our source is a small factory that specializes in Dragon Well production. Their teas are made from a local varietal offering taste qualities we find distinctive in the marketplace. This lot provides a fresh, vibrant taste when cupped - full-bodied, pleasantly vegetal and sweet yet with well-crafted green tea edge. The tension between initial leaf sweetness and an underlying hint of astringency signaled a well-crafted tea. Aroma is vegetal, sweet and nutty. This Dragon Well offers an enduring taste.  
Tea facts
Long Jing is known for 4 qualities: its singular shape, jade-like color, toasty-vegetative aromas and naturally sweet flavors. This is a small production lot representing one day's harvest. It is grown on a farm about 30 kilometers outside Hangzhou (the location of the world famous Westlake and its surrounding area of Dragon Well producing tea farms)  and processed at a local factory that specializes in Dragon Well. Their teas are sold only in China. The leaves for this lot were harvested the second week of April 2018 (Gu Yu pick).   
Tasting notes
It will cup to sweet and nutty liquor with chestnut overtones, while enlivening the palate with just a hint of green tea astringency. Note the mouth feel is sweet and enlivening with some very slight puckering. The aftertaste is sweet.
Brewing suggestions
Use 3 grams for up to 8 ounces of water. Perhaps 4-5 grams with 12 ounces of spring water and certainly filtered if the tap water is treated. We recommend a brief steeping, 1 to 1.5 minutes, to enjoy the subtle qualities of the leaf.  Optimum water temperature is between 175 to 195°.   The leaves will yield 3 steeps.

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  • 3
    dragon well 1st grade/

    Posted by PJB on 16th Jan 2019

    This tea is easily drinkable, but regarding the '1st grade' designation..? The thing I've noticed over the years is that the higher grades of lung ching have a few things in common - first and foremost is uniformity of leaf. The 2st grade dragon wells I've had in the past - and some from this vendor - the leaf shape is extremely uniform, and when you run you hand thru the leaves, it feels like a tiny deck of cards. This '1st grade' dragon well - while an acceptably drinkable green, is no where near what I would call a '1st grade' dragon well. At this price point, I feel like I've been had.