Our Longjing Spring Equinox has a warm, buttery aroma on an undertone of lightly toasted fresh cereal and peas, accented with sea salt and a light woody spice. There is a distinct, but pleasant gentle floral aroma of a blooming orchard with an undertone of caramel. The lively body has good weight and a silky to velvety tactility, dependent on your water quality and infusion strength. There is a malty savoriness with hints of salt, chocolate and cinnamon, changing to sweet and refreshing. 

The characteristic bite of this selection is part of the traditional quality of genuine Hangzhou Longjing which is highly sought out by connoisseurs. Mr. Wu, our Longjing Master, employs an indigenous traditional cultivar for the production to ensure this result. There are selections out there that are much softer that are also from the Hangzhou region. They use cultivars developed only a couple of decades ago, such as Longjing 43.  

Longjing originated in the West Lake region of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, China, which is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Once a pristine area it has suffered significantly from modern day pollution, an unfortunate result of said tourism and 20th -- 21st century progress in China. As a result, in this day and age one has to venture away from densely populated and tourist infested areas to acquire a really fine Longjing while remaining true to the origin of Hangzhou. One such area is a small farm owned by Mr. Wu, our Longjing master, where the underground water is crisp and the air sweet. Mr. Wu realizes that the environment is more important than the convenience and that there would be no quality without the traditional respect for Nature. Mr. Wu processes our Longjing Spring Equinox entirely by hand from start to finish, sparing no attention to detail. Our Longjing Spring Equinox might well have been used by nobles and mandarins in their tea competitions when Emperor Qianlong was still young and flamboyant, and crazy about the tea. 

In ancient times top Dragonwell tea was the tea of emperors and special dignitaries. The secret was in the plucking! Known as imperial plucking only the bud and the 1st leaf was plucked and this had to occur only once a year before the Clear Light Festival in March and early April, otherwise the tea could not be have the moniker 'Imperial'. Young virgins, gloved and using gold scissors delicately plucked the stem and placed it into a golden basket. Today the plucking process has changed somewhat (the time of plucking has not changed) but it is fascinating to know the tradition behind this marvelous tea.

As with all great teas there is more than one legend. Another tale has it that in 250 AD a Taoist monk affirmed that there must be a dragon lurking in a certain spring not far from Hangchow. The monk implored the well dragon to come to the rescue of the poor farmers suffering a crippling drought. Instantly the clouds came rushing in from every side and poured forth a timely rain. One account of this, an old temple adjoining the spring is know as Dragon's Well Monastery, and the tea derives its name from the same legend.