Among all Chinese green teas, Long Jing is by far the most popular. In various lists of the top 10 Imperial Tribute Teas (the list changes with the dynasties), Long Jing/Dragon Well is always on these lists and often in the number one position. Tea obsessives and newbies alike are equally enamored when they experience the roasted chestnut note wrapped in the most astonishing vegetal freshness. The liquor of this incredible “second flush” (second harvest) infusion carries the essence of freshly cut grass, rounded off by a soft, nutty flavour.
We most often associate Chinese green teas with a hallmark smokey or roasted resonance from pan firing processing techniques; while Dragon Well carries that hint of nuttiness from traditional woking, the skilled tea master allows the sweet spring freshness of freshly harvested leaf to remain main stage on our palette. The green tea leaves are picked young and taken back to the village where the skilled tea master uses bare hands to press them flat in a hot, dry wok in the traditional way. It is our privilege to bring you such a tea cultivated and crafted by an 80-year old tea master in Long Jing Village with whom we had the rare honour of meeting with over tea at his home to procure this 2016 spring Long Jing. Mr. Zhang is a former school teacher, and has been making tea since his early 20’s, taught by his father. He is locally regarded as one of the most knowledgeable tea masters in Long Jing, and as such his product is in high demand domestically and is not exported. We feel so lucky to offer this limited quantity for you to enjoy and share! Mr. Zhang declined a photo, so we share a scene of a farmer tending to his plot in Long Jing Village and one of the famous “dragon wells”.
Origin: Farm in West Lake area, close to Long Jing Village, Hangzhou
Elevation: ~1600 ft
Farmer: Mr. Zhang
Some say Long Jing became famous because it is produced in an area close to Hangzhou city, one of the most well developed cities in China and over all the years, this has offered opportunity for its sharing and enjoyment with large numbers of people in a way that more remote mountain green teas don’t have access to. The supply of Long Jing is very limited and seasonal, yet meandering through the streets of Long Jing Village (early May, post harvest season) the supply of Dragon Well is in every direction and feels endlessly abundant as small merchants and tea houses clamor to invite passers by in to purchase their tea. The very scent of Dragon Well green tea hangs in the air like an aromatic mist covering the village.