Long Jing Green Tea
Long Jing Tea is one of the „10 Great Teas of China“, a list on which this tea quite frequently even ranks as No. 1. Translated to English, “Long Jing“ literally means “dragonwell”. And in fact, there is a well. whose water flows from the mouth of a dragon head, in Hangzhou, Westlake region, Zhejiang province, China, near the eponymous village of “Long Jing”. And near this well grow the famous 18 Long Jing “mother” tea plants. According to legend, at the time of the Qing dynasty, these plants received imperial status by the grandson of emperor Kangxi (period of reign 1661-1722), Qianlong. This was after he had tried this tea when coming by this place during one of his travels. On annual auctions, the leaves of these 18 plants – still in their place today – score prices that exceed their weight in gold.
Comparably affordable, but nevertheless still authentic Long Jing tea, comes from the surrounding greater Hangzhou region.
Pre-Qingming Long Jing Green Tea, “Xi Hu” Variety
Our Spring Long Jing Green Tea comes from a close-to-nature tea garden near Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Generally, the picking for best qualities of Long Jing green tea in Hangzhou stretches from the first days of April into May. At this, the pickings before the Chinese “Qingming” festival are considered the very best. This is, because pre-qingming Long Jing teas bring out the individual subtleties of cultivar and terroir in their purest form.
Of the various sub-varieties of the Long Jing tea plant, the “Xi Hu” variety is a classic. It belongs to those Long Jing varieties, which is not suitable for transplanting to other places due to their strong terroir binding. Therefore, the pre-Qingming picking of the Xi-Hu variety represents Long Jing tea not only in its purest, but also in its most authentic form.
Picking and Processing
Using the best possible picking standard of 1 + 1 is quite a matter of course for the pre-qingming plucking of Long Jing tea. Right after picking, our Pre-Qingming Long Jing Green Tea is manually roasted in the traditional way in a classic “wok” pan. At this, the centuries-old tradition does not only serve the disruption of the fermentation process in the tea leaves. Much rather, it also essentially contributes to producing the typical aroma and taste pattern of Long Jing Tea.
Long Jing Green Tea – Taste and Aroma
The characteristic tight and flat-shaped dry leaves of Long Jing tea already convey a hint of the typical chestnut aroma, with a light orchid fragrance. In the clear, bright green infusion then, the tightly haired buds and leaves develop the nutty-sweet taste of roasted chestnuts that is characteristic for Long Jing tea. To this, the early (pre-qinming) picking adds a particularly fresh floral taste. The resulting overall flavor pattern keeps a perfect balance of freshness and earthedness. It lingers on the gum for an extended period, thereby accompanying you even long beyond the actual sipping.
For preparation, first pour ca. 200 ml water of 80°C over ca. 4g of Long Jing green tea leaves. Then let infuse for 2 minutes for a first infusion. This will bring to bear the tea’s full flavor spectrum. After this, a second infusion with similar infusion period is always still worth it!