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Dragon

Green Dragon from Canton Tea Co.

green_dragonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Blended for us by Rare Tea Hunter, Phil Mumby, this is a base of China Green Sencha given a full makeover with the citrus kick of lemon zest, lemongrass, lemon oil – and ginger. The combination of the fresh, green grass sencha notes, the lemony flavour and the warming ginger is completed by the subtlest hint of liquorice root to give a lingering sweetness.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  When Canton Tea Co.asked me to try their new Green Dragon – I was excited!  I’ve been really impressed with the quality of teas that I’ve tried from Canton and I love the combination of lemon and ginger – so I was sure that I’d enjoy this new blend of theirs.

And I do!  The lemony notes are tart with just enough sweetness to them to keep me from puckering when I take a sip.  The warmth from the ginger is mild.  And the licorice root is barely noticeable – even those who don’t typically like licorice root would probably enjoy this because the licorice root doesn’t really stand out as an obvious flavor.  It’s more like a hint of sweetness toward the tail.

The Chinese Sencha is a sweet, fresh taste with a hint of grassy flavor.  It has a pleasant creaminess to it, light and buttery.  I like the way this buttery quality melds with the lemon-y notes, creating an almost lemon custard type of experience with each sip.  It’s very smooth.

As I continue to sip, the warmth from the ginger builds slightly in the back of the throat.  It never gets really warm though.  It’s a very mild, gentle peppery note that offers contrast to the creaminess of the tea and the tangy lemon notes.

A really lovely tea – it’s a delightful summertime tea that tastes great as a hot tea or a refreshing iced tea!

Organic Dragon Well Green Tea from Canton Tea Co.

organic_long_jing_dragon_wellTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

This delicious organic Dragon Well is grown in the hills of Zhejiang Province near Long Jing, the village where this famous tea originated. The green tea leaves are picked young and taken back to the village where the skilled tea masters use their bare hands to press them flat in a hot, dry wok in the traditional way. This arrests the oxidation process and ensures the liquor carries the notes of freshly cut grass, rounded off by a soft, nutty flavour.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love a really good Dragon Well – or Long Jing Green Tea – and this Organic Dragon Well Green Tea from Canton Tea Co. is REALLY good.

Whenever spring approaches, one of the questions that’s often asked among tea drinkers is ‘where are you getting this year’s Dragon Well?  And while there are many fine purveyors of exceptional Dragon Well teas, this Organic Dragon Well from Canton is one of the better Dragon Well teas that I’ve tried and I’ve tried quite a few.  Only a few of them are teas that I can recall from memory as being really good – this would be one of those ‘really good’ Dragon Well teas that I’ll remember!

It’s so sweet, lightly grassy/vegetative with hints of butter.  The buttery notes give the somewhat grassy taste more of a vegetable type of flavor, evoking thoughts of freshly steamed green beans that have been lightly drizzled with melted butter.  It has a pleasantly creamy texture.  There’s very little astringency (next to no astringency!) and no bitterness.

And it’s a tea that keeps on steeping!  I got three very flavorful infusions out of one measurement of leaves!  So get your mileage out of this tea and take it for a couple of infusions!

I’ve often heard that the proper way to drink a Dragon Well is in a tall glass with the leaves sitting in the bottom of the glass and as you drink the liquid, keep adding more water – and you drink it like this all day long.  Now, I’ve never tried my Dragon Well like this.  The truth is that my first experience with Dragon Well wasn’t a positive experience.

I don’t know if that bad experience with the Dragon Well was because at the time I was a bit of a novice when it comes to brewing green teas in general and the water I used was too hot, or if it was possibly because the Dragon Well that I had at the time was of a lesser quality, all I know is that I did not like it!

And after that experience, I was very hesitant to try another Dragon Well.  Until I finally did and I realized, “HEY!  I like this!”  That realization could have been due to the fact that I knew better ways to brew green teas or again, it could have been the quality.  But, I’m more inclined to believe that it had more to do with the fact that I knew how to steep a green tea at that point.

But because of that first experience, I’m hesitant to try my Dragon Well teas a different way.  I found the way I enjoy them, so why fix it if it ain’t broken, right?

Back to THIS Dragon Well – this is one I’d suggest trying.  This could be your new Dragon Well!

Dragon Lychee Pearls Black Tea from Tealyra

DragonLycheeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tealyra

Tea Description:

Well rounded, sweet, mellow and flavorsome, our Lychee tea is an exotic and enticing taste sensation! Ripe, fruity and aromatic, Lychee is delicious either served hot, or chilled and served over ice with a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have some fond memories of lychee throughout my childhood, and these Dragon Lychee Pearls from Tealyra (known to my Canadian friends as Tealux) intrigued me, and for the price, I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I decided to take this to work with me, but conveniently forgot to bring any type of brewing vessel along with it. No problem! This type of tea is perfect for Grandpa Style brewing. Any kind of tea rolled into balls, cones or compressed into coins, bird nests, or squares make excellent lazy brew teas. It’s these types of visually entertaining teas that I like to show off to my coworkers. sure most of them think that there is some kind of sea urchin living at the bottom of my cup, but hey, it gets them talking about tea! I threw in 6 little pellets of deliciously scented black tea into a pint glass and poured hot water over it. It didn’t look like that much tea in the glass, but the flavor was not lacking in that department.

The fruit flavoring is pretty true to a fresh, juicy lychee. It’s exactly like any lychee jelly candy you can pick up at your local Asian market. The black tea base is lighter than I was expecting, but I still get that nice, fresh baked bread and cocoa powder notes I was hoping for. The leaves popped open almost immediately after I doused them in water, revealing long and sturdy brown leaves. I was able to refill my glass three times before the leaves gave up the ghost.

This was a great tea that takes to any method of preparation really well. I liked how the tart perfume of the lychee notes persist through many steepings, and the base black tea is mellow but defined. I’m hard pressed to find a better lychee tea, and this is the most unique one yet. This tea is like entertainment for your mouth!

Hawaiian Ginger Jasmine from Swan Sisters

Hawaiian_Ginger_JasmineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Tea Information:

The word exotic comes to mind when we sip this tea. Naturally sweet, exquisite and mellow Jasmine pearls livened up with spicy ginger and zesty citrus. The ginger is grown on an organic farm in Maui. The Dragon Pearls are infused with jasmine flowers six times when the jasmine pearls are made. This tea is a permanent favourite.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh wow!  This is really nice!

The ginger hits the palate first.  The first few sips are really all about ginger with a light note of green tea in the background.  But it isn’t an overly spicy or zesty ginger flavor.  It doesn’t bite you, it’s a gentle, peppery warmth from the ginger.

After the first couple of sips, I pick up on the jasmine.  Sweet and soft jasmine notes that offer a really lovely contrast to the heat of the ginger.

The green tea is a soft background note.  It’s light and sweet with hints of creaminess.  Not exactly ‘buttery’ but more of a soft, creamy texture that also translates to a slightly creamy taste.  It’s not an overly grassy or herbaceous green tea flavor.  It’s delicate and light, the same type of green tea taste you’d experience from a top quality jasmine pearl tea.

Which is what this appears to be – it’s a jasmine pearl tea that’s been blended with some of the most beautiful pieces of dried ginger I’ve seen.  A lot of times, ginger looks sort of ragged and root-y (especially that which you’d find in a typical chai or other tea blend) but this ginger looks like it was prepared with care and love.

To brew this, I suppose I could have used my gaiwan with great results, but I decided to try brewing it in my Kati Tumbler and this worked just as well too.  I measured out a little less than a bamboo scoop of tea and put that in the basket of the Kati.  I heated the water to 180°F, poured the water over the leaves and let it steep for 2 minutes.

Overall, I’m thrilled with this tea.  I usually associate a jasmine tea with ‘springtime’ but the addition of the ginger make this a really nice cooler weather drink.  This would also be really good iced, I think!

Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon Tea from Upton Tea Imports

BlackDragonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Tea Description:

Blended especially for Upton Tea Imports, this tea is a pleasing and subtly complex variation on a rich, smoky classic. The perfect gift for the Lapsang Souchong drinker who seeks a less smoky cup. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon is a very interesting Lapsang Souchong.  It is, as the description above suggests, less smoky.  This is evident even in my very first impressions of the tea when I first opened the package and smelled it.  Smoky, yes, but, it wasn’t an overwhelming smoky aroma.

I didn’t follow the brewing parameters from Upton, instead, I first gave the leaves a “rinse” – a fifteen second infusion and then I tossed the liquid and re-steeped the leaves for 3 minutes.

And this is one of the nicer Lapsang Souchong teas I’ve yet to taste and the reason is because it’s less smoky than the typical Lapsang Souchong.  I like the lighter smoky taste, which allows me to explore some of the fruity notes of the tea – which seem to be highlighted because of the smoke, but they’re something that I don’t really enjoy quite as much as I am here because the smoke tends to be so overpowering for my palate.

But not with this Black Dragon!  This is smoky but not too smoky.  I’m tasting delightful notes of fruit.  Notes of pine and a pleasant caramel-y sweetness.  It’s very smooth until the tail when I note a slightly dry astringency.

It’s a lighter bodied Lapsang Souchong, which are usually much stronger and bolder in flavor (and in smoke).  But I like that.  I like the lighter approach of the Black Dragon.  If you’re one who tends to shy away from Lapsang Souchong because of that heavy smoky essence, I think you’ll find that this is much more appealing.