The very first of the 2012 teas have arrived right here at my house! This is the second year I have tried these teas and I have been so pleased with them. They are lovely and delicate and I no longer think that only snobs have to have them. Or does that mean I am now a bona fide tea snob? Oh well.
Long Jing is the town from which true Dragonwell tea comes from. This tea, which was hand-plucked and hand-processed on the 3rd of this month has those wonderful characteristics. The bright green leaves are pressed flat and feel like silk running through my fingers. The smell emanating from the packet is wonderful – a mix of hay, flowers, corn and biscuits. Hmmm mmh.
I brewed this lovely stuff for about 2 minutes with 170 degree water in a glass teapot so I could watch the leaves unfurl and hang straight down in the water. I don’t know why they do that, but it is fascinating to watch. The resulting brew is a gorgeous pale silver-gold-green. It smells strongly of asparagus – a common green tea scent and taste – and spring grass.
On her blog, Gingko, the proprietor of Life in Teacup, has this to say:
Great Buddha Dragonwell is favored by tea drinkers especially in early spring. It quenches the thirst of tea drinkers, after they’ve been longing for months for new green tea.
As a tea drinker, I see Great Buddha Dragonwell as a more “accessible” great tea than many other more famous teas. Price of top notch Great Buddha Dragonwell is quite modest, compared with mediocre-level products of more famous teas like Hangzhou Dragonwell and Bi Luo Chun.
The taste was of dusty flowers, maybe flower pollen?, really good gardenias that are not overwhelming, but subtle, to lure you on. A hint of asparagus and green grass as well. This is a totally intriguing tea, it seems as though every sip is a little bit different from the last. As it cools, more of the asparagus and spring green comes out.
I am so pleased I ordered this tea, it is a wonderful experience.