It is certainly appropriate to be drinking this tea this year, as it is the lunar year of the dragon. The Chinese New Year Celebrations have just ended. However, the box for this tea has a most magnificent dragon’s head on it, so you can continue your festivities if you wish.
This particular tea is a whole leaf tea. As Uncle Lee’s says “”whole leaf, better flavor”. The tea bag is big enough to allow the tea leaves room to move around. Dragon well tea is generally flat-leaved and when there are enough of them, I like to let them slip through my fingers because they are so silky feeling.
I brewed the tea for about 2 minutes with water, about 175 degrees. You have to be a little more careful with green tea, as boiling water and a long brew time equals a bitter brew.
The tea brewed up a deep golden color. This always amazes me, as I still think green tea should brew up green. Ah well, some black teas are quite red and some whites are green, so this should be something I am used to by now. Neither the dry nor brewed tea had a great deal of scent, although the latter began to have a slight vegetable aroma as it cooled.
The taste of the tea was somewhat unusual for a Dragon well, in my somewhat limited experience. I’ve only been drinking them for a couple years, so I have no great fund of knowledge. This one was both vegetable and sweet, leaning more toward the “seaweed” side than I care for. By “seaweed” I mean something briney or slightly fishy tasting, like the seaweed you get in bento boxes at a Japanese restaurant.
Uncle Lee’s Tea describes it as:
Only Uncle Lee’s packs extra-large tea bags with whole leaves.This unique method means a higher-quality tea with more flavor and health benefits for you.Legend has it that a dragon once lived by a small village in the hills of Hangzhou Zhejiang Province, and saved the village from a severe drought. From that province comes Dragon Well Green Tea. Dragon Well Green Tea is now the most popular green tea from China. Regarded as a wonderful elixir, Uncle Lee’s Organic Dragon Well Green Tea has several distinct characteristics like its wonderful jade color, its full-bodied flavour and a sweet, slightly nutty aftertaste. Taste the difference of Uncle Lee’s Organic Whole Leaf Teas — more leaves, more flavors, more benefits, more for you! This product is Made in the USA.
I have only had Dragonwell tea made in the original province, so I really am no expert on any made in the USA. I wonder how they make it here. I know it is generally hand made and hand fired in woks in China.