Verdant Tea

1st Picking Dragonwell Tasting Journal

1st Picking Dragonwell Tasting Journal

1st Picking Dragonwell Tasting Journal

June 7, 2020

Mrs. Li is one of the warmest and kindest people we know in China. Her father was one of the foremost professional tasters in all of Zhejiang, responsible for officially grading Dragonwell.  She has studied picking tea, processing tea and tasting tea with her father since age eight.  Hand-picked in Shi Feng, Longjing Village, this 1st picking of the season is usually saved for government officials and Hong Kong businessmen.

The finest and most valuable Dragonwell in the world is surprisingly light by western standards. In China, the most sought after green teas are all about a fine and subtle sweetness, and a long, drawn out aftertaste and crisp texture. This is Mrs. Li’s first picking of the season, selected from her highest-elevation tea plants and carefully hand-finished by her husband. Mrs. Li’s First Picking Dragonwell is a Pre-QingMing harvest, picked before the QingMing Festival (April 5th) this year.

Drinking such a prized green tea is a quiet and meditative experience- a chance to listen to the subtle tasting notes, and appreciate the flavor imparted by the air, water and soil of Dragonwell. The bright and beautifully green flavor of this 2015 Spring harvest epitomizes the classic flavor profile of Shi Feng Longjing tea.

The dry leaves are rich and commanding in their aroma, intoxicating like rich vanilla and fine bourbon. The texture is perfectly silky, smooth and full. The tea’s flavor is dominated by an intense minerality, as if the crisp, deep stone notes were crystallized into candies and dusted in powdered sugar. The chloryphl-laden leaves and buds have a delicate matcha and watercress quality. The most astounding part of the tasting experience is the long, drawn out aftertaste, lingering for hours after the last sip is gone.

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