Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
Dragon Well (Long Jing) is the most famous Chinese green tea, named after the Dragon’s Well landmark in the West lake area of the Zhejiang, where the tea originated. Dragon Well is a pan-fired green tea flat fried by hand in large woks one small batch at a time. This artisan processing technique yields a tea with leaves shaped like the blade of a sword. Each spring, during the prime Dragon Well harvest, we select a unique quality that has a balance of fresh green and smooth toasted flavors. Rishi’s Dragon Well is mellow and smooth with a fresh bittersweet finish and roasted chestnut aroma.
Learn more about this tea here.
This month’s Steepster Select Box was a celebration of the Chinese New Year which marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. To celebrate this occasion, the Steepster Select Box included three Chinese teas: Two Dragons and a Pearl; a flowering tea from Teavivre; Dragon Well (Long Jing) from Rishi Tea; and Pheonix Yunnan Gold from Tea Valley. The flowering tea and the Yunnan tea are two teas that were new to me, and I’ve already reviewed them this month, but this Organic Dragon Well from Rishi Tea is one that I’m familiar with as I reviewed it several years ago.
This Dragon Well holds a somewhat special place in my heart as it represents the first Dragon Well tea that I tasted that I enjoyed, having had somewhat of a bad experience with a Dragon Well quite some time ago, I was hesitant to try it again. Since that time, I’ve realized that I’m actually fond of most Dragon Well teas, and I therefore must assume that it was how I brewed the tea, and not the tea itself that I found distasteful those many years ago.
The tea has a light to medium body and a crispness to it that is quite refreshing. It is sweet and smooth, with a very pleasing nutty flavor in the background. While the description on the Rishi website (provided above) describes this nutty flavor as a chestnut taste, I find it also tasting vaguely of roasted almonds, a flavor that is especially pronounced toward the finish. It tastes very much the way I think a roasted nut butter made of both almonds and chestnuts might taste.
While this Dragon Well has a somewhat grassy taste to it, I find that the grassy flavor can be toned down significantly by lowering the water temperature to just 175°F and steeping for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. With this cup, I taste almost no grassy tones, only a hint of it in the distance.
A delicious Dragon Well, one that I’m very happy to be enjoying again!