Shi Feng Supreme Dragon Well Green Tea from Grand Tea

ShiFengDragonWellTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Grand Tea

Tea Description:

Dragon Well is a most celebrated green tea in China, the name comes from the town Lung Ching which means Dragon Well in direct translation. In recently research shows that fresh green tea, particularly in young buds contains high levels of antioxidants, and is very good for the skin and has anti-cancer properties. EGCG and theanine exist in the highest concentration in these young tea buds.

Typical for Shi Feng Dragon Well is the yellowish green leafs, sweet with a hint of chestnuts like fragrance and refreshing aftertaste. GrandTea’s Xi Feng Dragon Well is still hand-picked and hand-roasted the traditional way.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, wow, I’m loving this Shi Feng Supreme Dragon Well Green Tea from Grand Tea!  It’s so delightfully sweet and nutty.

To brew it, I used my Kati tumbler and rather than measuring these long leaves in a bamboo scoop, I simply pinched out an amount that looked to me like a scoop.  (I call this my eyeball pinch method.)  Then I heated the kettle to 180°F and added 12 ounces of hot water to the tumbler and let the tea steep for 2 minutes.

Now, Dragon Well tea is one of those teas that you can actually leave the leaves in the cup.  I’m told that it’s one of those teas that you don’t need to strain the leaves – you can just keep on infusing, adding more water as you drink the tea.  But, I’ve not tried it that way.  I remember the very first time I tried Dragon Well tea, I either oversteeped it or steeped it at too high a temperature.  Either way, the tea was just not something I wanted to drink.  So since that time, I’m careful with how I brew a Dragon Well.

I’m quite satisfied with the way this cuppa turned out!

It’s sweet, buttery, lightly vegetal and deliciously nutty with a flavor reminiscent of freshly roasted chestnuts.  It also has a really pleasant, creamy texture.

And while I’m not one to keep the leaves in my cup and keep adding hot water to the cup – I’m all about the resteep!  I resteeped these leaves three times with no real significant loss in flavor!

This is indeed a superb Dragon Well!  I highly recommend it.

Mrs. Li’s 2014 Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea from Verdant Tea

mrs.-lis-2014-dragonwellTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Mrs. Li’s father was one of the most respected professional tea tasters in Zhejiang, and a farmer since age 16. Mrs. Li is proud to carry on her father’s tradition of hand picking and roasting pure, organically-produced Dragonwell.

The tree covered mountainside tea fields of Mrs. Li are fed by sweet natural spring water from Dragonwell, and are protected from excessive heat or sunlight, creating a sweet and crisp brew with not a trace of bitterness. At the peak of freshness, her tea changes the way that you think about green tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Recently on Steepster, there was a discussion on where people would be getting their Dragonwell teas this season.  To that discussion, I think I might suggest this Mrs. Li’s 2014 Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea from Verdant Tea!   Because … oh wow!  This is one seriously spectacular Dragonwell!

I tried last year’s harvest of this tea, and at the time I was reviewing it, the tea had sold out.  So, this is a tea you DO NOT want to hesitate on … because hesistation can mean the difference between getting some of this tea and having to wait until next year!   This is a very special, very FRESH, limited edition tea that is well worth dropping everything and ordering some right now.

Since this is a very special Dragonwell, I decided that I should take it through it’s paces, and infuse it as many times as I could get flavor from it.

My first pot of this tea is sweet and toasty.  The tasting notes on the website suggest “warm nutty cashew” and that’s what I’m tasting.  It’s sweet, roasty-toasty, nutty, and creamy.  It’s a nicely round flavor.  The texture is soft and brothy and creamy.  I emphasize ‘creamy’ here because it’s got that kind of taste and texture that makes me want to curl up in a bubble bath and just drink this.  A sip of this tea and I can feel the worries and stresses of life melt away and I feel like I’m in heaven.  It’s so luxurious and wonderful.

The second pot proved to be even sweeter and more intensely flavored than the first.  I am still getting that warm, creamy cashew flavor and I’m also noticing more of a “browned butter” note:  sweet, nutty, creamy and with a hint of savory.  The creaminess in the first cup was more like a sweet cream sort of flavor, whereas this is more similar to the creaminess you’d experience from a brown butter sauce.

The third infusion had more of a “green tea” sort of taste, with stronger vegetal tones and as the description on the website suggests, hints of “matcha” like notes.  Still buttery and nutty and sweet, I find this infusion to be a little less sweet than the previous two and a little more savory than they were.  However, this still tastes sweeter than it does savory.

I am finding myself in utter AMAZEMENT by my fourth and final infusion (hey, I might have scheduled this for early in the day, but it’s getting late as I write it!) because this is still sweet and creamy and delicious!  The flavors are getting lighter now than they were in the first three infusions.

And as promised, I am tasting notes of sweet, candied citrus, and yes, even some brown sugar notes.  The creaminess has waned somewhat compared to the first three infusions, but I notice lovely creamy notes (particularly connected with the nutty tones, think a creamy cashew butter) but these creamy notes are more of a flavor than a texture.

If you’re looking for an exceptional Dragonwell – this is it.  I highly recommend this.  I know I’ve tasted a lot of Dragonwell teas and I’ve enjoyed most of them – but this one – this one is truly unique from the “usual” Dragonwell and deserves a place in the very upper echelon of those that I’ve tried.  You would be hard pressed to find a better Dragonwell than this.

Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea from Verdant Tea

MrsLiDragonwellGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

True Shi Feng Dragonwell is one of the most admired teas in the world, officially endorsed by Emperor Qianlong as the archetypal green tea. We sourced this limited batch from an old friend, Mrs. Li, whose family has a plot of land at the heights of Shi Feng (Lion’s Peak). Tea lovers make the long hike up gravel and dirt roads to reach Mrs. Li’s farm and buy a bit of her precious harvest. Because of our unique friendship, we were able to secure a few pounds to share.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

My review of this Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea from Verdant Tea is somewhat bittersweet because … this is easily the finest Dragonwell green tea I’ve ever tasted but unfortunately, this tea is not available for purchase at this time.  On the Verdant Tea website it reads:

This special edition tea has sold out. We are hoping that Mrs. Li will let us have more of her Dragonwell later this year or in the spring.


But also … JOY!  Because I do feel very fortunate that I’ve this opportunity to be tasting this tea now.  As I said before, this Dragonwell is the finest that I’ve tried.  I love Dragonwell tea, and sure, I’ll still enjoy other Dragonwell teas that are from Mrs. Li’s tea farm.  But this one … this tea stands alone in a class by itself.

It has a delicious nutty flavor that is sweet, smooth and offers very little astringency.  The tasting notes on the Verdant Tea website suggest a cashew-like flavor for the “nuttiness” that I just mentioned, and I get that.  Yeah, that’s quite cashew-like, and I can almost feel that sort of nutty “creaminess” that I experience when I munch on a handful of cashews.  Cashews are one of my favorite nuts, and that sweetness that is almost soft and creamy is one of the reasons I find these nuts so enjoyable.

There is a slight grassy tone to the flavor, and I noticed that vegetative tone immediately with my first sip.  The vegetal notes fall somewhere between sweet grass and lima bean for me.  And as I continue to sip, I notice a mineral-like note toward mid-sip.

What is most remarkable for me with this tea, though, is the creaminess it presents.  I usually find Dragonwell teas to be more on the pure, clean tasting side – and this tea does possess that quality as well – but this also has a taste and texture that is creamy and almost vanilla-esque.  It is quite dreamy!

I LOVE this Dragonwell.  If my cupboard could contain only one Dragonwell tea, this would be the one I’d select.  If someone were to ask me for a green tea recommendation to serve to someone with impeccable taste, this would be one of the first teas that would come to mind.  This is a tea worth trying – and I do recommend keeping your eye on the Verdant Tea website to see if this tea becomes available again … it’s definitely worth the effort!

Alishan Shi Zhao from T-Oolong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

Our Alishan Shi Zhao Oolong tea is handpicked and handcrafted. The tea is produced from Qingxin Oolong varietal (the most-loved Oolong tea varietal) grown in the mountain areas of Ari Mountain, frequently covered with fog or clouds. The brewed Alishan Shi Zhao oolong tea has a floral aroma and taste, a long-lasting flavor and a sweet and pleasant aftertaste. It is very smooth and delectable with almost no bitterness.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Alishan!  Alishan!  Alishan!

When I first started drinking Oolong tea, I tried Formosa Oolong, and I loved it.  I was very new to tea back then (although I probably didn’t think I was), and I had no idea that there were other Oolong teas.  I thought Oolong tea = Formosa Oolong, and that’s it.

A few years later, I experienced my first “green” Oolong, and I was astonished!  It was so different from the Oolong I was used to.  And I liked what I tasted, but still, my heart remained true to my beloved Formosa Oolong.

Another year or so later, I tried my first Alishan Oolong.  It was love at first sip!  Since that time, I’ve tried many Alishan Oolong teas, and I am still so amazed at how different two Alishan teas can taste from one another… not to mention how different an Alishan tastes from a Formosa Oolong.  This is one reason why I adore Oolong … it’s always an adventure.

And while Formosa Oolong teas still hold a special place in my heart, I must say that my favorite Oolong tea is Alishan.  I even have my own Yixing Mug that’s dedicated just to Alishan Oolong.

This Alishan is phenomenal.  So smooth, sweet and delicious!  Very floral, but also with a fruitier background than I usually associate with Alishan.  The floral tones here are not sharp or pungent, they are quite smooth … almost creamy!  There is a pleasing honey-like tone to the flavor, and it has a thick, luscious mouthfeel.

This Alishan takes my breath away, it’s so good!  I love it!

2011 Pre-Qingming Shi Feng Long Jing (Weng Jia Shan) from Life in Teacup

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Product Description:

Production Year:  2011

Production Season:  Spring, harvested on April 5nd

Production Site:  Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Weng Jia Shan (Geographic Patent Site). Single estate.

Taster’s Review:

This is a delightful Long Jing.  The liquor is a pale green … very pale green!  It is so light in color that I thought that this would surely be a thin tasting tea, but, it is not.  It is quite lush; thicker than the color would lead one to believe.

The flavor is sweet and it has a creaminess to it that is evident in both taste and texture.  There are hints of nutty tones throughout the sip, and a very mild grassy tone.  It’s a barely-there kind of grassy/vegetative note, noticeable but not strong.

I would like to say that I took the time to steep this one in my gaiwan, and ordinarily I would have.  But, I was feeling lazy this evening, so I did it the easy way:  in my Breville One-Touch.  I steeped it for 2 minutes at 170° F, and it still produced a beautiful, lightly fragrant, delicious cup.

A truly refreshing, delicious Long Jing.  I recommend this to all the green tea enthusiasts out there!  It’s amazing!