- Longjing Background
- Longjing Preparation
At the top of the list of China's ten most famous teas, Dragonwell is known as the Queen of Green Teas. Our ceremonial grade Dragonwell Yixing is a superb example of the characteristic Longjing "four uniques." It has a sweet, roasted chestnut-like flavor, fresh vegetal aroma, a light jade-yellow liquor and the distinctive straight, flat, narrow leaf appearance. The mouth-feel is creamy, almost buttery.
Longjing Tea - also known as Dragonwell - has been in production for over 1,000 years, but only became famous during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911.) It is produced by hand through a 10-part process. The best Dragonwell is grown by the side of West Lake in Zhejiang Province. Dragonwell is distinguished by its beautiful sword shape, emerald color, intoxicating chestnut-like aroma and tending sweet floral character. In Chinese culture Dragonwell is looked upon as an excellent gift to give to your friends, as once it was a gift to emperors. Even today there are a few plantations which produce tea exclusively for the heads of the Chinese Government. These exclusive teas are NEVER sold to the public and the plantations are walled and patrolled by armed guards and dogs. If you find someone claiming to sell tea intended for the President of China, they are lying. Every leaf is accounted for at these plantations.
Ingredients: Artisan green tea
Origin: Zhejiang Province, China
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.
Water Temperature: 160-175 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 rounded tsp. (2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
Our Longjing (Dragonwell) may be prepared in a standard teapot, or in your favorite mug or lidded gaiwan. For best results, we recommend that you pre-warm your vessel, and place 2.5 grams of leaf per 6 oz of liquid, before infusing with 168-175 degree water for up to 1-3 minutes. As with all green teas, Dragonwell can be infused at least three times. Increase the time and temperature slightly with each subsequent infusion. Experimenting with your own temperatures and steeping times is encouraged. Cooler temperatures and shorter times yield more mellow, fruity elements, while hotter water and longer times produce more floral and full-bodied complexities. Always use the best-tasting water you can find, and adjust steeping times, quantity of leaves, and water temperature to your personal preferences.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.