An incredibly crisp, commanding tea that balances the sparkling mineral notes of Dragonwell with the sugar-snap pea of Laoshan, and a mouth-watering juiciness all its own. . . .
This exquisite early picking truly shows off the best elements of both Laoshan flavor and Dragonwell flavor. The aroma of the wet leaf is that of bread dough rising on a warm surface, yet the first impressions of of the flavor are perfectly bright and sparkling. The mouthfeel is very engaging, creating a crisp mineral sensation on all parts of the palate.
After the first flash of fine texture, other notes come through. There is a gentle sweet green quality brought out by a citrus juiciness and mouthwatering Tieguanyin-like aftertaste. Elements of floral aroma are mixed in as the aftertaste settles into a licorice-like sweetness.
Later steepings bring out more savory Laoshan elements as the body of the tea becomes thicker and notes of butter and sugar snap pea come through. The overall sensation remains very cleansing and perfectly sweet.
ICED: Very clean, refreshing and sweet. Tastes like the smell of fresh cut grass on a hot day. Flavor notes and texture reminded us of vanilla frozen yogurt.
*Note: Because of a very cold spring, only a small amount of this tea was harvested. The good news is that the slow growing conditions have led to a much sweeter richer tea. The bad news is that we were only able to obtain eight pounds total. Once this sells out, it will not be replaced with the same batch. While unfortunate, we also embrace the temporary nature of tea, and hope that you will enjoy this offering to the fullest while it is available. The He family passes on their thanks.
Date of Picking:April 10th, 2012
Location of Picking:Ocean-facing slope of Laoshan Mountain in Laoshan Village, Shandong Province He Family Farm 15-20 acre plot fed by the mountain spring running down from the rock face of Laoshan.
What Was Picked:Young leaf material with buds wilted in bamboo baskets, dried over a carefully trended wood fire and pressed flat.
Sourcing Agent(s):David Duckler drank this tea with the He family after spending months in Laoshan Village on a tea research grant.
Brewing Dragonwell Style Laoshan Green
Western Brewing: Use one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water. If possible, use a glass tea pot or brewing pitcher to enjoy the performance of the leaves as they unfurl and begin to dance around. Steep for 1 minute with 175 degree water, or until most of the leaves have sunk to the bottom of the vessel. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait for the smallest bubbles to start coming up, and the water will be ready. Enjoy at least 3 infusions
Preferred Brewing Methods:
Gongfu Brewing: Do not heat your gaiwan. Add 3 grams of leaves for a medium gaiwan. Use 175 degree water. No need for a rinse. Steep for 4 seconds. Increase steep time after the third steeping by 3 seconds or to taste. Enjoy at least 6 infusions. Try to leave a bit of water in the gaiwan to cover the leaves between each steeping.
Laoshan Style: Cover the bottom of a tempered glass tumbler with leaves. Pour 175 degree water along the edge of the glass so that it does not splash over the leaves, but slowly submerges them. Drink as soon as you can handle the hot cup. Refill with boiling water throughout the day.
Jingshan Style: Boil water to 175 degrees, or until the smallest bubbles start rising to the surface. Fill a tempered glass cup or teapot 2/3 full with the water. Sprinkle 1TB of leaves per 8oz of water used in the vessel. Swirl lightly and watch the leaves slowly unfurl and sink. Drink right out of the cup, blowing the leaves to the side, and experience the tea first very light, and then stronger as it continues to steep.
For green tea, filtered water is preferred. Being lighter, and also more grassy, the tea has a tendency to get overwhelmed by hard water taste, or have bitter notes brought out.
An Afternoon in Laoshan Village
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