Long Jing Green 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 “Long Jing”, and near this well stand the famous 18 Long Jing tea plants that according to legend at the time of the Qing dynasty were granted imperial status by the grandson of emperor Kangxi (period of reign 1661-1722), Qianlong, after he had tried this tea when coming by this place during one of his travels. The tea leaves of these 18 plants – still in their place today – are annually auctioned at prices that exceed the tea’s weight in gold.
Comparably affordable, but nevertheless still authentic Long Jing green tea, is the same tea growing and being cultivated in a wider radius around the orginal “dragonwell” as well as in a number of other places around Hangzhou and in Zhejiang province.
Our Spring Long Jing Green Tea comes from a tea garden in Chu’nan county, Zhejiang province, ca. 130 km southwest of Hangzhou that has been abandoned since the 1980s and has grown wild ever since. Only once a year, in the beginning of April, at the best time for harvesting Long Jing green tea, pickers are visiting this tea garden, located at an altitude of over 1300 Meter (“High Mountain Long Jing“), whose more than 100 years old tea bushes are never cut back (and never subjected to the use of any pesticides). For the remainder year, the tea garden is left to rest in silent peace. Only the beginning spring’s young buds (due to their shape often referred to as “birds’ tongues”; see picture above), each along with its pertaining uppermost 2 leaves, are harvested by hand for our Wild Spring Long Jing Green Tea according to traditional manual picking standard .
Right after picking, our Wild Spring Long Jing Green Tea is manually roasted in the traditional way in classic “wok” pan. The characteristical manual processing in the wok, a centuries-old tradition, does not only serve the disruption of the fermentation process in the tea leaves, as is common for green tea in general, but also essentially contributes to producing the typical aroma and taste pattern of our Spring Long Jing Green Tea. The characteristic tight and flat-shaped dried leaves of the Long Jing tea already conveys a hint of the typical chestnut aroma complemented by a touch of orchid fragrance dominating the infused Long Jing tea. The wet, tightly haired tea buds and leaves in color resemble thi tea’s clear, vibrant bright green infusion, whose nutty-swet taste (roast sweet chestnuts) with its unique and highly individual floral note is very intensive indeed and remains in the mouth for particularly long periods. Due to this tea’ wild character, the “Cha Qi“ of our Spring Green Long Jing Tee is unusually strong and pronounced.
To prepare Wild Spring Long Jing Green Tea, we recommend pouring ca. 250 ml of 70°C – 75° C hot water over 3 – 4 grams of the Long Jing tea leaves. For a first infusion displaying the whole aroma and flavor spectrum of this tea in a most pleasant way, an infusion period of 1 – 1.5 minutes should not be exceeded (the same applies to the above mentioned temperature; as other green teas, also wild spring green Long Jing tea will start bittering at higher temperatures). Add another minute for each further infusion. This way, Wild Spring Long Jing Tea will produce at least 4 full taste infusions. In ritual Chinese tea ceremony contexts, tea masters will produce quite some more infusions from this tea with the shorter steep periods typical for the Gong Fu Cha.