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unflavored green tea

Pre-Ming Dragonwell /Mei Mei Tea

A few years ago had you had asked me if the time of year matters for when you plucked a leaf I would have shrugged my shoulders. But once you really delve into the world of tea it’s amazing what you will learn.

Pre-Ming for example is any tea harvested before a specific date, this being the Qing Ming festival. In this year of the Dragon 2020, the festival falls on April 4th.

These teas are usually considered higher quality. I could go on forever about this but go look it up and you’ll see what I mean. Once you do you’ll understand a bit more about why I am excited to drink this tea.

Without further ado and because I can’t stand sitting here any longer staring at this package, let’s steep!

The dry aroma is very slight. Maybe because this is only a small sample. But have no fear the wet aroma is fantastic.

Sweet, grassy, with some hints of indistinct florals. The liquid is silky on the tongue. Oh heavens that is nice. Slight astringency with overwhelming (in a good way) grass and hay notes.

This is the first time I’ve done a dragonwell Gong fu style and I must admit it is tough. But so worth it. Oh unique! With the second steeping, I am getting an aroma of asparagus. The flavor remains the same. Maybe a bit more grassy then before.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Mei Mei Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

photo/logo credit:  Mei Mei Tea

Organic Gunpowder / Bare Leaves

Your zest is but that of a fresh summer rain. The astringent label, given to you by sailors, is to be ‘savored’ only in the after taste. Liquid clear and cunning with golden hues so vibrant you would think they dipped the tea in gold.

Your fresh dry leaves, tightly rolled balls of love and affection, show the care your makers had in your processing. Wet leaves dance in the water and open up with beautiful hues of green. With a few over oxidized here and there that make them appear black. Aroma of wet leaves; a bitter scent with hints of earth.

If your nostalgia for summer has peaked to a depressive state, grab a cup of this tea and savor the thoughts of a sunny day with light rain showers.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Bare Leaves
Description:

Organic green tea from China. The leaves of this famous Chinese green tea are hand-rolled into pellets that resemble gunpowder. It produces a bolder flavor than most green teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

1st Picking Shi Feng Dragonwell / Verdant

ASPARAGUS!

It smells like it was grown with asparagus! Never have a smelled a tea that so strongly resembles this vegetable. I like asparagus if it’s done right but drinking it? I don’t know…

The wet smell is glorious. Simply heavenly. Would buy this tea just so I could smell this all day. Slightly roasted scent with hints of asparagus still lingering. Fresh like the day it was picked. In fact, if you close your eyes you can probably imagine the walking in the thick of the tea trees on the Shi Feng mountainside.

Once you pull yourself back into reality you awake with very vegetal flavors. This is presumably the most vegetal green or tea in general that I have ever had. Let me be real honest though, it’s like drinking asparagus juice.

Not quite as strong though as there are also slight mineral characteristics to mellow it out. Which I’m assuming come from the unique earth in the Shi Feng area.

It is a crisp sip with a bit of astringency. I know I probably don’t make it sound very appealing but it really is unique and should be tried!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

The new 2019 Pre-Qingming Dragonwell is now available! This early spring tea is all about a fine and subtle sweetness, and a long, drawn out aftertaste and crisp texture. Cool spring weather produces a small harvest of truly sweet tea. This is Mrs. Li’s first picking of the season, carefully hand-finished by her husband, Shui Huamin. Her true original cultivar Dragonwell (Longjing Qunti) grows on the mountain slopes of Shi Feng and draws in sweet mountain spring water.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea/Teavivre

I have said it before and I will say it again, I don’t love green teas. I especially don’t love non-flavored green teas. However, if someone is kind enough to send me something to try, I will always give it a chance even if I would not have picked it for myself. Such is the case with this Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea sent to me by the very generous Angel at Teavivre.

I brewed this tea for 1 minute in 185F water, per the company’s recommendations.

As far as green teas go, this a nice very nice one. No bitterness and no vegetal flavor. In fact, the flavor is almost closer to a silver needle white tea than a typical green tea. It’s a slight bit floral and a lot beany, as in it has a bean flavor to it. Beans and corn. Fresh and bright. I actually liked this one a lot more than I thought I would and as a testament to that, the mug was emptied before I even fully worked out my review.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Description

Tender, refreshing, no bitterness even over steeped

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sleeping Dragon Tea/Adagio Teas

Gunpowder green tea was among the first green teas I’d tried as a kid. It’s a little nostalgic and is now my go-to drink when I’m having a rough day and just need a pick-me-up. It’s also probably responsible for my affinity for smoky-tasting teas and wines.

Sleeping Dragon picks up some of those notes from a good gunpowder tea, especially in the first cup. The first steep is rich, smoky, with subtle hints of fruit. Steep a second time and you get more of a fruity, lightly sweet green with a smoother, well-rounded flavor. (If you don’t like smoky tea, you can steep for 1.5 to 2 minutes and cut back on those flavors.)

This is a tea that’s fun to watch in a glass teapot—pellets slowly unfurl into long, beautiful green leaves that have a wonderful fragrance. If you’re not a fan of really grassy green teas, I highly recommend this one. It’s also a great intro to loose-leaf greens for friends who are new to green teas—it’s a very mild flavor that won’t send curious tea drinkers running the other way.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

Sleeping Dragon green tea is grown at about 3,000 feet in the mountainous Fujian province. The tightly rolled leaves and silvery fuzzy buds give this tea its signature shape and name. In the cup, it delivers a soft, fruity sweetness enfolded by a rich smokey note similar to a gunpowder, but more complex and crisp in the finish. Sleeping Dragon remains a great cup for a green tea novice or those who oppose the grassy character of some varieties.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!