West Lake Longjing Tea
Xīhú Lóngjǐng Chá
West Lake Longjing Tea (龙井茶 Lóngjǐng chá), also known as Dragon Well Tea, is a top-grade green tea from Longjing, West Lake, Hangzhou. You can smell the sweet fragrance of tea from the mountains behind famous West Lake. Dragon Well Tea is world famous for its "four wonders" - emerald green color, aromatic flavor, sweet taste and beautiful appearance. It has wonderful nutritional value and an extraordinary effect on people's health. The tea leaves can be eaten after infusion. Flat in shape with smooth, straight tapered buds with a sturdy, lasting fragrance, fresh, dense, sweet and refreshing.
Very gentle and sweet, these teas can be quite expensive.
The tea leaves that are handpicked before the Qingming Festival (around the first week of April) are highly rated for their rich fragrance and tenderness.
Additionally, because of the low temperatures in early spring, less tea is produced than in the later, warmer months, making it highly sought after, especially in the high-end market.
West Lake Longjing Tea is of excellent quality but also extremely rare, so extremely valuable. Those who hesitate purchasing during this season, regret it for a full year!
Longjing tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or Imperial tea, in Qing Dynasty by Chinese Emperor Kangxi. According to the legend, Kangxi's grandson Qianlong visited West Lake during one of his famous holidays.
He went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan) and was presented with a cup of Longjing tea. In front of the Hu Gong Temple were 18 tea bushes. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the Longjing tea produced here that he conferred these 18 tea bushes special imperial status. The trees are still living and the tea they produce is auctioned annually for more money per gram, than gold.
There is another legend connecting Emperor Qianlong to Longjing Tea. It is said that while visiting the temple he was watching the ladies picking the tea. He was so enamored with their movements that he decided to try it himself. While picking tea he received a message that his mother, the Empress Dowager was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves and he immediately had it brewed for her.
Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is said to have been named after a well that contains relatively dense water. After rain, the lighter rainwater floats on its surface, sometimes exhibiting a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.
Legend also has it that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, water from the “Dreaming of the Tiger Spring”, a famous spring in Hangzhou, is to be used. The water quality of the spring now is certainly very different than before. The tea takes its name from the eponymous "Dragon Well" located near Longjing village.
Processing of Longjing Tea
The excellent quality of Dragon Well Tea is guaranteed by a super elaborate production process. The picking of the leaves emphasizes the importance of timeliness. A famous master among tea growers is quoted as saying, "Tea leaves are a treasure if picked earlier while it is useless as grass if picked too late." Dragon Well Tea leaves are picked during different periods of time. Generally speaking, the best is picked before Qingming Festival, which is called Mingqian Tea. The one picked before Grain Rain are fairly good and are called Yuqian Tea.
The selection process of tea leaves is very strict. Only the delicate and complete leaves are to be picked. After the fresh leaves have been picked, the makers should first grade them, as different qualities of leaves need to be dealt with different temperature and techniques. The masters will bake the tea by hand using specially made iron pans. Traditional method of making Dragon Well Tea takes many forms - grasp, toss, shake, pile, throw, buckle, press, and grind.
Experienced masters know well how and when to use the certain movements, according to the temperature, color and moisture content of the leaves. Usually, Longjing is graded using a scale of six levels from superior quality to low quality. The different levels of tea have different methods to bake.
The tea can be very expensive and the prices depend on the varieties, of which there are many. Longjing is divided into six grades: Superior and then 1 down to 5. Infused leaves are a good indicator of quality, which is characterized by maturity and uniformity of the shoots harvested for processing. High quality Longjing teas produce tender, whole leaves that are uniform in appearance. Lower quality varieties may vary in color from bluish to deep green after steeping. Before infusion, higher quality Longjing teas have a very tight, flat shape and light green color. A study revealed that free amino acids and thiamine concentrations contribute positively to what is perceived as a good taste
Making the perfect Brew
Usually people use glasses as the ware to infuse Dragon Well Tea because the beauty of the leaves rising and falling in the water can be enjoyed through the transparent glass. Like the newly-opened orchid, the leaves extend their waists gently and slowly. It is no doubt an inspirational experience. Although it is common practice nowadays to steep Longjing tea in glassware or porcelain, the real taste profile of a finer Longjing is achieved only by using a genuine, slightly porous, Yixing clay teapot.
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Good tea must be made with good water, so its flavor can be totally infused. The Dragon Well Tea and Hupao Spring is a perfect match. With less soluble minerals and higher concentration levels of organic nitride, Hupao water is favorable for producing the flavor and fragrance in the tea. I suggest to not use 212F boiled water because the high temperature will break down the nutrition and taste. Instead, it is appropriate to boil water at around 185F.
For best infusion results, use 1 teaspoon (2-3 grams) tea to every 5 ounces (150 ml) water. A water temperature at around 75-80 °C or 167-176 °F is ideal to brew the tea leaves. Infuse for about 1-2 minutes. Too long will cause the tea to become bitter.
- Shelf life:360 Days
- Food Additives: None
- PackingType: (30) 1.18 oz. Loose Leaf Tea Bags
- Approx. 333 cups of tea using a 3g per tea cup
- Packing Type: Box
- TeaType:West Lake Longjing
- Weight: 1kg.
- Origin: China
- Province: Zhejiang Province
- City: Hangzhou
Tea is not a luxury consumption anymore. Drinking tea is a necessity of life, an attitude to life. Drink to relieve boredom and excite the senses, smelling cool good tea at the same time coupled with a good tea set, can be described as one of life's greatest pleasures.
Since the beginning, this was popular for preparing green tea well. Yixing teapots (粘土宜兴紫砂壶 Niántǔ yixìng zǐshā hú) are meant for use with black and oolong teas, as well as aged pǔ’ěr tea. They can also be used for green or white tea, but the water must be allowed to cool to around 85 °C (185 °F) before pouring the water into the pot. Yixing teapots absorb a tiny amount of tea into the pot during brewing. After prolonged use, the pot will develop a coating that retains the flavor and color of the tea. It is for this reason that soap should not be used to clean Yixing teapots. Instead, it should be rinsed with fresh water and allowed to air-dry. A studious tea connoisseur will only steep one type of tea in a particular pot, so as not to corrupt the flavor that has been absorbed.
With your order today, I will send you this Yixing teapot with 8 tea cups free. This tea set is valued at $63.95. But it's yours free if you order today.
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