I wrote about Long Jing on the 14th day of this competition. It was the first time I tried it, but I knew that it would not be the last time. This time I got it from another source and I thought this was a better-quality Long Jing overall.
I have read about the story of its name in Helen Saberi’s ‘Tea A Global History’ book and would like to share it with you. Dragon Well is the name of a local spring in Hangzhou close to where this tea is cultivated, and the society believes that it is a dragon’s den. One day the Emperor Qianlong who reigned from 1735 to 1796 visits the region and the well itself. He was offered this tea there which he enjoyed and decided to call it dragon well. It is also said that the Emperor is also responsible for the tea’s unique flat shape. During his inspection of the tea cultivar, he plucked some tea leaves and pressed them between the pages of a book. Later these leaves were infused and brewed a pleasing taste. The farmers then adapted this labour-intensive shape to honour the Emperor who also granted the tea its Imperial status.
This elegant tea is on the list of the ten most famous Chinese teas. Today it is said that around 18 royal tea trees are remaining in Dragon Well. The tea made out of these trees is extremely rare and special. It was also offered to Queen Elisabeth II during her official visit to China in 1986. Maybe Elisabeth owns her great health to this tea, who knows?
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Bright green
Liquor colour: Light yellow
Tea aroma: Subtle vegetal and floral notes
Tea taste: Mellow and pleasantly grassy
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 80°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 1 year (the freshest the better)