Dragon Well, in all its various grades, is known for 4 characteristics: a jade-like color, vegetative aroma, chestnut-like flavor and a feather-like shape. It is perhaps the best known of the Chinese teas. Our Lung Ching is a standard grade showing fresh green coloration, hints of golden yellow and leaves of varying sizes. It is grown in the Hangzhou area, harvested in mid-April, in a township known for its Dragon Well production, which, for the most part, is consumed in the domestic market. To gain its classic leaf shape, the leaves are firmly pressed with the heal of the hand against the surface of the roasting wok. This firing process, using just a small amount of tea oil, results in a rich-green leaf color that is tinged with a yellow-gold color. Harvested April 2020. Lot # S9
Each year in mid-April, we travel to a local factory for our annual Dragon Well tea tasting. As the factory specializes in Long Jing, they work toward a standard of local taste profile for this tea. The taste tilts toward what the domestic China market enjoys. This lot is fresh, the firing even handed and not too high - the resulting taste is crisp, vegetal and nutty. There is nice tension between sweet and astringent notes in this tea.
This lot is produced more to a local custom than most of the Dragon Well exported from China. The leaves were harvested in mid-April. For Dragon Wells generally, China became comparatively warm with temperatures in the high 20s Celsius making the leaves bolt or grow too large, too fast.
The aroma is vegetative and sweet. Steeped for 2 minutes, the cup color is green-yellow, reflective of the strength of the leaf. The taste is clearly vegetal with a flavor of chestnuts that will warm and a hint of astringency, a traditional style of Dragon Well. Offers a quenching, lingering finish.
Given its quality, we recommend using 3 grams of leaf (round teaspoon) per 7-8 ounces of water. Steep with water temperature of 185-195 degrees F.; steep for 2 to 2.5 minutes. Longer steep times will yield a stronger cup taste, more pungent flavor with some increase in the tea's astringency or "bite". Drain the leaves, leave them dry and save them for additional steeps.