Dragon Well Tea (Longjing)
Finally! World's Best Green Tea Revealed
Tribute Dragon Well tea has a light body with a mesmerizing chestnutty aroma.
The Chinese White House consumes 500 kilograms each year. We offer the same tea leaves using the same purity and grading system.
In the old days, emperors drank tribute teas.
For thousands of years, hundreds of these teas existed. Most perished and were forgotten. Today, only one such tea survives: the Tribute Dragon Well.
The modern Forbidden City - Zhongnanhai (Central South Sea) - acquire 500 kilograms each year. The farmers sell the surplus after meeting the quota.
World's Best Green Tea
Being the most famous Chinese tea has invited many imitations. While there are many different types of Dragon Well tea, there is only one Tribute variety.
These are the reasons why this "Queen of Chinese Tea" is so rarely available:
Dragon Well tea is cultivated in 14 provinces. However, an authentic grade only grow in Zhejiang province.
Zhejiang produces 15,000 tonnes each year. Its most renowned variety comes from the West Lake.
West Lake is the Champagne region of Chinese tea. It accounts for just 6% of Zhejiang's production.
Now, West Lake itself contains 30 different types of this tea.
The "Source" of Dragon Well tea is at the Lion Peak Mountain (Shifeng). The best tea gardens here bear the Tribute seal. Their teas go directly to the Chinese President - Mr Hu Jintao.
In China, the highest grade sells for more than 100 dollars per 50 grams (2 ounces). It is not really for everyday consumption.
Fortunately, this site's co-founder - HQ - has extended family that owns three tribute tea gardens. By cutting out the middle-men, I invite you to partake in this most special of green tea.
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Fancy the life of a tea farmer in the Lion Peak Mountain?
You only work 6 weeks a year during the spring harvesting season. Tea plants are rested for the remainder of the year to recuperate.
The highest grades tea buds are picked in the first three days. They yield the fattest and sweetest tea buds.
The essence of the heaven (mountain air), earth (pristine soil) and men (centuries old handicraft) over the entire year all miraculously concentrated in these little tea buds.
Taste = quality = nutrients
According to a 2004 study conducted by the UK Institute of Food Research, Dragon Well tea contains high level of quality markers such as theanine, EGCG and other active compounds.
These nutritions exist in the highest concentration in these young tea buds.
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Tribute Dragon Well tea is naturally organic - the tea gardens use none of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
The farming practices have remained Pre-Industrial, relying on the principle of harmony to ensure the equilibrium of pests (insects), anti-pests (birds) and tea plants.
A sanctuary for wild plants and animals, the Lion Peak Mountain has been selected to be a Grade 1 National Protected Zone, the highest level of protection possible.
The tea gardens lie at the top of the Mountain at an altitude of 750 meters, well away from eager tourists visiting West Lake each year.
(Another equally famous West Lake tea is called Meijiawu, they are only Grade 2, one notch below Lion Peak Mountain.)
The Chinese White House lays down strict farming rules. No fertilizers and pesticides are to be used. Chemical tests are conducted yearly to ensure compliance.
When you drink a Tribute Dragon Well tea, you are protected by triple guarantees:
The tea buds are at most a few days old. They are so young that they will contain little, if any, environmental contaminants.
The high grades are harvested at the crack of spring. Few insects exist at that time.
- You are drinking the same cup of tea as the Chinese President.
The four villages of Weng, Long, Man and Yang are renown locally for producing the best tea. The quality of tea is said to follow the same order.
HQ's tea gardens are found in the Weng village.
Today, everything is still handpicked and handroasted the traditional way.
It takes a good picker 10 hours to pick 2,000 grams of fresh leaves, which is then made into 500 grams of dried tea.
Dragon Well tea-making is an art form that ranks among the most sophisticated of Chinese green tea.
A novice takes three years to master the complex "10 hands movements" and they roast not more than one kilogram a day.
Nothing has degraded over the last few hundreds years. The tradition is well and alive.
HQ's uncle, who owns a neighboring tea garden, was crowned in April 2002 as the Tea King, because of his mastery of the "10 hands movements".
The family roasts their teas together - so you can be assured of artisan quality of his Tribute Dragon Well tea.
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Which flavors you like will determine which grade to buy. If you are not sure which grade to buy, I recommend getting the 4-in-1 Sampler to start off.
What's in the packet?
Drinking a high grade can be economical. It takes 3 infusions to soak up the large amount of nutritions present in early harvested tea buds. A 50-gram package can make you 50 cups of tea.
To put this perspective, 3 grams of tea leaves a day give you 300 milligrams of antioxidants - equivalent to the amount of antioxidants found in 500 grams of red wine and 1000 grams of apples!
Beginners think of Dragon Well tea's chestnutty roasted flavor. A more experienced green tea drinker will understand she has two distinct flavors: artificial and natural.
Roasted and Toasty
The roasted flavor is overwhelming in the first month, then gradually disappears towards the end of the season. It is more apparent in the lower grades (A or B), where the leaves are roasted longer with heavier hand pressure.
The taste is an extrovert toasted aroma that is the strongest in the first infusion, then fades away quickly.
The higher grade (such as King, Jipin, AAA) leaves undergo minimal processing to preserve their goodness.
They are roasted for a shorter time using lighter hand pressure. This natural inner essence is exquisite, floral and long lasting, peaking only in the second and third infusion.
4-in-1 Sampler - 50 grams (Spring 2013)
The 4-in-1 Sample contains 12.5 grams of B grade, A grade, AAA grade and Jipin grade.
B Grade - 50 grams (22 March to 4 April 2013)
Picked during the Pre-Rain season, she is often sold as a "disguised" higher grade in Hangzhou city. She may lack the exquisite sweetness of a higher grade, but retain the richness and potency of a mid grade.
A Grade - 50 grams (20 March to 21 March 2013)
The last Pre-Ming harvest, she is a firm favorite of many customers.
AAA Grade - 50 grams (17 March to 18 March 2013)
If you love the subtle and rich taste of a high grade green tea, then AAA grade is a good place to start. An early harvest, she has a creamy texture and many exquisite layers of aroma.
I love to drink her in the morning. She left me feeling calm and refreshed for the rest of the day. A special treat, the quality is coming very close to the "best in the world".
Jipin Grade - 25 grams (16 March 2013)
Harvested in the first 2 to 3 days of the season, she is the bestseller for a long time. In the mind of many customers, the best green tea in the world.
King Grade -12.5 grams (16 March 2013)
Exceptional and out of this world, the King grade is picked on the first day of the season by the bosses, then pan-roasted tiniest amount at a time.
Chinese green tea, being non-steamed, usually yields a yellowish liquor. But this King grade has a delightful emerald. Mouth flavors are less rich than Jipin grade. What's fascinating is the nose flavors - a penetrating orchid almost like an oolong in disguise.
The tea garden harvests only 2 kilograms each year.
The Hangzhou City Government issues authenticity certificates to the 9,000 tea gardens in West Lake. They are available to buyers upon request.
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|A Grade - Top quality|
I am still satisfied with your Longjing Tea A grade. Top quality and quick delivery!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Outstanding|
This is a great value indeed. Each grade has its own unique characteristics that are exactly as Julian described.
If you're really after a great 5th taste (Umami) experience, you should get this tea in the AAA and Jipin grades.
This Dragonwell tea is probably the best tea I've ever had. Each grade is great in its own right and seems to be more forgiving than most teas.
|4-in-1 Sampler - For those with discerning taste|
This tea is very smooth and enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who has a discerning taste for good tea.
Thank you for producing such high quality tea!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Far exceed anything I had|
The tea is exceptional. I am a fine tea newbie and didn't realize how good tea could be before I began ordering from you. I was skeptical about brewing twice or even three times until I tried it - eye opening.
I particularly appreciate the wonderful fragrances of the Dragon Well teas. Fine tea turns a little break into a highlight of the day.
It so far exceeds anything available in my local tea shop (which carries something they call Dragon Well) that nothing they have is anywhere near it. It's like what I've had before is beer, very good beer, but beer. And now I've discovered champagne. To my newbie palate = 5 out of 5. Somehow both flowery and subtly herbaceous. If it has a flaw I am unable to detect it.
I live in a "cool summer" area where mornings seldom reach 70 degrees. Nothing like a warm cup of exquisite tea to chase the mid-morning chill
A cup of fine tea
in the morning chill chases
the numb from my brain.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Totally beat my expectation|
I'm a tea lover. I've been bought tea from anywhere that can possibly carry high quality tea.
In my opinion, you have the most wonderful Dragon Well. It has a deep unique aroma and tastes exactly how they claim. It totally beats my expectations.
Although it is a bit pricey and has a 4-week shipping period, I do appreciate your quality products and service.
Two days ago, when I got the message that 2013 harvests had arrived, I couldn't wait to order more. Now I'm looking very forward to try the new crops and the Mending Ganlu which is recommended by your site.
I highly recommend your tea to my friends.
|AAA Grade - 2013 - Love it!|
As usual this tea is wonderful.... I love it! Great customer service as well!
|Jipin Grade - Really enjoy|
Just wanted to let you know that I have safely received my 2013 Dragonwell LongJing tea much earlier than I expected. :)
Thanks for the wonderful speedy service!
I'm really enjoying the JiPin 2013 this year.
It has the delicate floral fragrance of the King grade and the earthy flavours of the AAA grade. It is a "mix" of taste and aroma that appeals to my palate. :)
The last time I ordered the JiPin grade from you was about 2 or 3 years ago. I still fondly recall that year as being a really special vintage year.
So if I were to award the maximum 5 stars to the 2010/2011?? JiPin, this year's 2013 vintage would be 4.5 or 4 stars.
Likewise for this year's AAA grade.
On their own merits, the 2013 JiPin and AAA grades are still 5 star products in their own category and class./p>
|Jipin Grade - Highest quality I have sampled!|
The Jipin Lung Ching that I received was of great quality. It was indeed one of the highest quality Lung chings I have sampled.
The buds were mostly all intact, in uniformed shape. The color of the dry leaves looked intense and vibrant when comparing it to lower grades or even a Meijiawu that I have from Hangzhou.
The liquor brewed to an almost bright yellow and the taste had many layers of depth in which each brew (3 total) were unique and immensely enjoyable. I will go on to sample the King grade next...
The only draw back here is the length of time for its arrival, but then again good things come to those who wait...
|4-in-1 Sampler - Dignified|
The Longjing tea is a very pleasant tea.
A dignified flavor.
The best I have ever had.
|AAA Grade - Best I've every had|
Everything went well.
When I was in china 3 years ago I bought a tea that was similar to the one I ordered. I love the tea and in terms of quality I think its one of the best ones I've had.
Its to hard to find high quality tea in California.
I would rate the tea a 4 and that's because I wouldn't know what a 5 would be, I'm sure their just may be a even higher grade.
I'll be ordering more soon around summer time. Thank you for everything.
|A Grade - Enjoy it|
I got the tea just a few days ago. It was recommended by my friend Dan who is one of your customers.
So far so good I enjoy the quality, care, packing, and freshness.
I drink tea slowly but I believe you will see my order again sometime in the future.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Superb value and quality|
I love the tea, . I have been drinking it for months. The value and quality are superb.
When I run low I will order from you again. I even love the Longjing grade B -- it is delicious like all the other tea.
|AAA Grade - 4.5 out of 5|
For the service and response from Julian, I give a 4 and ½ star.
The service is great and the response from Julian has always been quick. I would have given it a 5 star if it weren’t for a slight delay of delivery on the China side due to the Chinese national holiday and a glitch.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Awesome|
I just received the tea yesterday and get a chance to try it today. It is awesome! Thank you. :)
I don’t have an expertise in green tea, but this was definitely 5 of 5.
|AAA Grade - Great product!|
I would rate your tea 5 out of 5.
Once again you have sent me WONDERFUL tea!
I really do enjoy my daily cups. I'm sure it does me the world of good!
It's just really lovely, I'm actually having one right now!!
Thanks again for the great service and product!!
|AAA Grade - Light and refreshing|
Yes, I received the tea and it's very nice.
Not what I was expecting as previous Long jing teas I've tried have had a more bitter taste to them unlike this one which is lighter and more refreshing.
I will probably order some more in the near future along with some Mao Feng which I really like.
|AAA Grade - Best quality|
Longjing green tea is the best quality. I am very satisfied with the taste of this tea and I admire the after effects of this tea.
A happy 5 stars!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Best Longjing tea|
I was impressed with the first batch that arrived from more of a chain store that specializes in high quality loose leaf teas. The tea was very good and I was pleased, but I always like to try more companies, to make sure it is the very best.
I also ordered from a company that ships directly from China. This was a disappointing order, as the taste was bitter, the color was muddy and the leaves were dark and small. Overall, the tea was not enjoyable on most levels.
So, I resumed drinking the first tea, until your tea arrived shortly after (I didn't purchase all on the same day - but over several weeks of research).
As soon as I opened your package, I could see the leaves were a brilliant beautiful green color - and nice long leaves in perfect shape. I knew right away, we had saved the best for last!
Your leaves matched up to the images I had found on the internet for exactly what Dragonwell should look like when picked at the proper time for the highest quality.
Frankly, I was shocked when I brewed my first cup. The color was the most beautiful green tea I'd had ever seen - like looking through a beautiful green glass. I kept holding it up to the light as it looked so pure and rich at the same time.
And then the taste - so velvet smooth on the tongue! Delicious, smooth and enjoyable on every level. Ah-ha! This had been what I was looking for- the search was over!
I also have enjoyed the way you date and label your teas, as that is a huge help in selection. My husband and I are enjoying both the King and the AAA grades of the Dragonwell (Longjing) teas. We will try the Jipin grade next, as we like to stick to the March timeline for harvest.
So, thank you for offering the best Longjing tea - it truly is amazing! We drink 2-3 cups every day and will continue to be loyal customers.
Thank you again- we love your company and your tea!
|Jipin Grade - Perfect 5|
The tea is very good and I'm enjoying it. I'll purchase again in the future. I usually travel often to Hangzhou, but not making it out there this summer so it's nice to have another way to purchase quality tea.
I give you a perfect 5. Shopping and ordering was easy and shipment was quick.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Amazing|
This Dragon Well green tea is amazing and very good quality I am happy with my purchase of this fine Dragonwell green tea and will be ordering again as shipping times are good too. Thanks.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Incredible|
The Longjing 4-in-1 sampler is the nicest green tea I've had to date.
It is fairly priced due to the range of Grades and also allows me to tailor the grades which I drink depending on what I am doing, usually the highest grades when working hard or exercising and the lower grades over the weekend or when I am too busy to appreciate the finer qualities of the tea.
The tastes of the tea are incredible and seem to me to be sweet (although a different sort of sweet from a sugary sweet) and very light and refreshing, it is a delight to drink while the the tea is still fairly warm as it feels very comforting.
The lower grades are wonderful but I can't help myself from drinking the Jipin whenever I have more than one Grade with me!!!
|AAA Grade - Very very good|
Hi Julian - the tea is very very good and the service you provide is great. I really liked the quick delivery. Thank you!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Excellent after feeling|
I've tried a number of your teas and they are always high quality and good value.
I started drinking loose tea about a year ago after a friend gave me some green tea he bought in Chinatown. I drank about 4 cups and liked the after feeling the tea gave me so I started researching green and white teas to learn more about them. During that process I came across your website which was very informative, seemed quite honest, and your genuine love for tea was clear.
In accordance with your recommendation, I purchased the Dragon Well sampler and Silver Needle AAA grade.
Since I never tried a "premium green tea" before, I didn't really know what to expect nor did i have anything to compare the teas to.
A year later and having now tried tea from other shops, I can honestly say that the quality of your tea is excellent comparatively. The descriptions of everything on your site has broadened my interest in tea and your teas have added much enjoyment and good health to my life.
I thank you for that.
As for the 2012 tea: The Dragon Well B grade tea is good. It feels buttery in the mouth, less toasty aromatic and rich than the 2011 harvest. The after feeling is good, not quite as good as last year but still energizing and relaxing at the same time. The after feeling becomes more relaxing and less energizing with each infusion.
I tried the A grade dragon well and it's awesome. The flavor and aroma are nice and strong and hold up to the expectations I had after trying last years crop.
All of the teas I have ordered from you taste good to excellent. What separates the Dragon Well from the rest is the after feeling. No other tea I've tried from your shop or anywhere else gives me the after feeling like your Dragon Well.
I rate it a 4.5, gotta leave some room for AAA and Jipin.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Lovely taster pack|
These are all wonderful in their own way, and I thought each one had its own charms.
I was happy to find that the lower-priced teas in the sample pack were as delicious as the very expensive ones, because it means I will be able to drink a Longjing I enjoy much more often. I don't think I can even choose a firm favourite amongst the four teas in this pack.
The Jipin had a very refreshing 'spark' to it.
The AAA grade was sadly snaffled in a single day by a friend (though I managed to try a cup or two and loved it).
The B grade had a warm deep aroma and a very mellow taste.
I'm just waiting for the new season's crop to come in to order a selection from you.
Extremely nice teas, and I also enjoy the quality and breadth of information on your site.
|King Grade - Special indulgence!|
This was the first really high grade green tea I tried, and I was delighted with it.
Since I ordered this from you, I've tried quite a lot of other fine green and white teas from both yourself and other suppliers, including several Longjings.
Out of the dozen or so different Longjings I've had, this one is my favourite: it tastes crystal-clear and the scent is lovely, fresh and spring-like.
It isn't a tea I can afford to drink every day, but I'll be ordering some more from you to enjoy as a special indulgence.
|A Grade - Fully satisfied|
The tea is very nice and I'm fully satisfied of these quality!
|Jipin Grade - Very rewarding!|
I have only been drinking tea for a little over a year.
I enjoy Longjing tea for taste and the health benefits, and it is the only tea I drink. I have purchased high quality Longjing tea from six different sites over this past year. Though some say high quality I was not sure until one can compare to others.
I have now settled on your website as the most informative and best tasting Longjing tea. I look forward to trying the AAA grade when it becomes available if only for the comparison since there is a big price difference.
This is not to say that I find the Jinpin grade expensive since I can have three infusions throughout the day, but again, only for comparison.
Thank you and I will be purchasing soon again.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Sweet memories|
We had a nice reminder of our visit to a tea plantation in Hangzhou, some years ago, whilst tasting this tea.
It has brought back sweet memories.
|AAA Grade - Same gusto as Hangzhou plantation!|
Your green tea is very fine. The same gusto we tried in Dragonwell tea teaplantation near Hangzhou!
The AAA grade flavor is absolutely amazing. I rate it to 5 out of 5! You can publish my feedback.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Expect a little stronger|
We were expecting the tea to be a little stronger in flavor (which we prefer), but if that is the way it is supposed to be that is fine to. We have to double the amount of tea in order to get any flavor. Thanks.
|B Grade - A great bargain|
I actually enjoy this "B" grade as much as the higher grades. It's a little less refined, but maybe thats a good thing with some green teas. Even this grade is the best Logjing I've tasted anywhere else. Your teas are truly high quality.
|AAA Grade - 5 out of 5!|
The tea was absolutely amazing! I am new to the green tea world, and I now have a benchmark with which to compare all other green teas!
|4-in-1 Sampler - THIS is a cup of green tea!|
Got the tea, and am enjoying it immensely.
I had tried the Mao Feng before, and loved it.
When I opened the Liuan Guapian, I couldn't believe the smell. Wow! The cup was just as good.
The Silver Needle (Baihao Yinzhen) has long been my favorite white tea, and yours is delicious, plus it can be brewed so many times without losing flavor. I have to say, these are now my three favorite teas!
But the Longjing simply outshone any other green tea I've tasted!
Wow, once again I couldn't believe the smell when I opened the package. And the leaves have such a beautiful color. They are more uniform and generally smaller than any Longjing I have tried so far. Tea is brewing . . . . .
Sipping now. OK, this is incredible! My wife and I are looking at each other in amazement. I've tasted no Lungjing anything like this. It is so fragrant, so fresh.
My wife says "Now THIS is a cup of green tea!" Truly amazing (as your website says!). The more I sip, the more amazed I am by all the flavors.
This is just the "A" grade. It looks like this may be going to the TOP of my list of favorite teas, instead of just being a passable everyday tea!
I think you can count on us being loyal customers for a long time! Thank you so much for making all this amazing tea available. Now, I'm going to have to try some of your Oolongs the next time . . .
|Jipin Grade - Worth it!|
This has to be the most exquisite green tea I have ever brewed. The price is worth it.
|King Grade - Vibrant freshness like a Mozart!|
The tea is of excellent quality. It has a fresh taste and rich aroma.
I tasted it with friends who also enjoy Dragonwell. Some preferred this one. others felt it was not subtle enough compared to other harvests and less refined.
I feel this is a matter of taste and all agreed the tea was of very high quality. It is comparable to that which I have received from other companies, though the price is quite a it higher for tea I am able to get of similar quality elsewhere.
Certainly you can publish my feedback. I like your analogy of tea to classical music.
Because of my previous experience with very high grade Dragonwell tea, I started right with this King Grade. It has a vibrant freshness to it which comes through in the cup like the essence of green springtime. It reminds me of the playful musical pieces by Mozart, while other may enjoy the darker moods of Brahms or Beethoven.
The price is high, but if you really like this style then it will be worth the price to you.
I would rate it 5 out of 5, but at this level of refinement, there is no one best tea. At the top grade, there are many 5/5 teas with diffent characters and you must explore them to find which ones you enjoy.
|A Grade - I rate 4.5!|
I have only tried the Longjing grades B, A and AAA. I liked B very well but the A grade was a little better. I can't tell the difference between A and AAA.
I really like the Mengling Ganlu. But I am always in a rush in the morning and having to take additional time to get accurate water temps is a pain so I probably won't buy it again as I like the Longjings just as well.
And with having to use 2 grams at a time the Longjing A grade is cheaper!
I would rate the A grade Longjing a 4.5 because I have yet to try the Jipin and wanted to leave room for a higher score. But my tea drinking experience is limited!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Wonderful|
I am new to loose leaf tea, and although I am still trying to get the measurments right, I've been very pleased. I've just placed a second order, and cannot wait for it to arrive since I've run out!
I only wish I knew how to measure properly, or knew where I could purchase a gram scale.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Will come back!|
I became interested in "Dragon Well" tea after seeing it being referred to in books by Qui Xianlong.
Our tea drinking previous would have been generic jasmine, oolong, and green teas - except for tea that my wife bought in Souzou.
So we really enjoyed the Longjing tea and will be back for more once we finish up the huge samples that we got!
|4-in-1 Sampler - Totally different|
Love it! Just when I was getting worried that it might not arrive, it came.
Beautiful green leaves...no bitterness...a totally DIFFERENT cup of tea from that at the local grocery.
Will be sharing with family and friends. Thanks for an excellent experience! P.S. I also appreciate all of the information on your website. Well done.
|4-in-1 Sampler - So much more energy|
The Longjing Tea is the best I have tasted. It has given the most benefits to me, I would rate the tea 5 out of 5.
My son and I adore your green tea, I even went out and bought tall glass tea goblets so I could really enjoy the flower and 3 leaves just floating in glass. I also adore the taste, great value for money and I feel so much lighter and have so much more energy since drinking it.
I am going on my holidays on Sunday and i have packed my new tea and glass tea goblet to enjoy because it won't be available anywhere.
Yes, i have had the surprise of a flower or two and its fantastic
|4-in-1 Sampler - The best!|
Amazing green tea is really the right name for your site as I was amazed with the tea I had from you for the first time.
It was surprisingly not bitter even I forgot to take it out from the water for 15 minutes. I know that I will order again and try some other flavor :)
Longjing is the best! It's very refreshing and definitely a 5! I don't mind if you publish my feedback. It would actually be an honor :)
|4-in-1 Sampler - 8 out of 5!|
When brewing, I could smell the strong chestnut fragrance and enjoyed sniffing it so much!
I am so pleased that even the B grade is fragrant and does not brew up any bitterness.
I would rate the sampler 8 out of 5!
I am so pleased that it is so soothing i can even drink it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
|Jipin Grade - Yours come top!|
This year's crop is definitely something else than last year's.
I have better impression on the Jipin grade because I've tasted the Wang grade quite sparingly -- I still have to try out your recommended brewing with it.
Regarding the Jipin grade, fine flavours, nice and fresh (very nice colour, I've had also some others this spring and yours is the top!).
I tried your recommended brewing, 2 grams in ~2dl hot water, poured some water into my gaiwan, added the leaves and filled her up. Then I waited. Five minutes passed and I decided to wait for a bit longer so that most of the leaves would have the time to sink.
After six minutes I started having doubtful thoughts and decided enough leaves had sunk and poured 2/3 out. The resulting liquid had a strong greenish-yellow colour and a strong typical longjing aroma.
And the taste. Certainly very strong, but not bitter in the bad sense of the word, not in the slightest. On the contrary, the bitterness was very refreshing, something I associate with the high grade longjing I once upon a time had in Hangzhou.
Maybe the strongest part was sweetness, twisted around the vegetal longjing flavour. And while sipping the tea in minute amounts like some good cognac, I spotted an interesting surprise between the layers of taste: Hint of lemon!
I ask for no more. Although I want to know what I'll find in the Wang grade. 4.5/5, I'd say (to leave room for more excellence!)
|AAA Grade - 2011 deserves another A!|
The 2011 harvest is really the best I have ever tasted.
I have ever ordered the King grade of Longjing, along with the JiPin grade from the previous years.
This 2011 AAA grade deserves another A!
As per previous years, it has the complex chestnutty taste of the JiPin grade. It also has the fuller bodied slightly more earthy taste of the AAA.
However, for this 2011 harvest, it also has the added perfume and delicate aroma of the King grade. I have never experienced such a wonderful infusion of complex and earthly tastes with the LongJing tea before. By way of analogy, this is akin to the complex blend of various spirits in order to obtain brandy (Cognac). This is why it deserves another A!
Highly recommended! :)
|AAA Grade - Complete reset my palate!|
After around 3 weeks of using this AAA grade LongJing, the taste palate of my wife and I were completely reset. Now the previously treasured "Special Grade" Longjing we have in the cupboard has been relegated to long term storage, maybe I will donate it somewhere soon.
|4-in-1 Sampler - 6 out of 5!|
I have been buying your tea for a couple of years already. And I think I am addicted to it. No other green tea will do but the Dragon Well tea as nothing has the wonderful aroma, taste and after-taste quite like it.
Rating on this year's tea? I think it should be at least 6 out of 5! ;P HaHa... :-D
|Jipin Grade - What a difference!|
Prior to my Jipin grade order from Julian, I went to my local Chinatown and bought 2 ounces of their most expensive Longjin (2010), hoping that it would be my everyday tea.
After I received the Jipin from Juilan, the aroma on my first pour was unbelievable. The feeling was almost like walking out on a golf course early in the morning when the grass was just cut!
Let's just say I had to order more Jipin and AAA grade. As for the tea from Chinatown, I'm giving it away.
|King Grade - Feel calm and alert|
I very much enjoyed the tea. I am a huge fan of the Longjing, its very light yet dry and subtly sweet to the taste.
When I am drinking I feel very awake yet alert and I have started drinking it regularly at work everyday, my job is very stressful and there has been a noticeable difference in my threshold for stress and anxiety lately.
I just generally feel calm and easily undertake my mornings now.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Very special|
This selection is actually 4 different teas in separate packages. Each package comes with 12.5 g of precious leaves so I tend to want to save it. I only drink it in the weekends.
So far I have only tried the A grade tea, but love it already. The silkiness of this tea reminds me of a similar tea I got several years ago from a Chinese friend. I never forgot it!
I can't wait to try the other three types!
|Jipin Grade - Best I've tried so far!|
The tea is of excellent quality. It is the best that I've tried so far.
I can see the superior quality simply by examining the dried leaves before
steeping them. They have a richer and more vibrant color compared to other
long jing loose leaf teas I've tried.
Moreover, the leaves seem to be quite uniform in color and texture which is not the case with other Long Jing teas I've tried. Once you start steeping the leaves, the aroma alone is sublime and ethereal. The actual taste is nothing short of beautiful. It has a rich and delicate flavor without even the slightest hint of bitterness that I often taste in other Long Jing teas that are of lesser quality.
The finish has the classic buttery smooth sensation that I've come to associate
with excellent Long Jing tea.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Gobsmacked!|
Yes, it was incredible - I have never tasted green tea like it. The Longjing tea was specially wonderful, almost like soothing broth. I shared it with a few friends and they were all gobsmacked at the taste and smell.
I am yet to make my way through the other teas included in my pack, and am looking forward to widening my green tea palate.
Thank you very much.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Best green tea I have ever had!|
When I first opened up the tea, I thought, it is so green. I have never seen green tea so light in color so I was skeptical that it really was green tea.
After preparing it, I found that it was green tea. It was so smooth and light tasting not like the tea that I was use to that leaves the strong after taste.
Since receiving it, I have researched and found that green tea should be light in color and now will not settle for those inferior teas I have been drinking.
I must get more.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Definitely a 5|
The tea was excellent, thank you.
The difference between the plonk of every day green tea I normally have (not unpleasant at all) and the fine wine of your tea is more than noticable.
I will re-order but will need to do so as having a treat rather than having it daily. Don't read this email as anything other than positive though, it is incredibly high quality.
|AAA Grade - Beat Your Competitor's|
Your Dragon Well beat your competitor's Dragon Well in freshness, quality, and, consequently, taste. Also, your prices are very reasonable for the quality delivered.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Best I've ever tasted|
I've never tasted such smooth tea. It's wonderful.
This tea is definitely a 5 out of 5. You may absolutely publish my feedback. The best tea I've ever tasted.
|AAA Grade - Excellent with good value|
This is also a very good tea. I have drunk some high quality Dragonwell teas this year, one that I ordered in the Spring that was very fresh, and one that was given to me as a gift from a very generous friend.
This tea was comparable to both of those teas, though I do not think it was the best Dragonwell that I have had this year. Given that this is one of your lower grade Dragonwell teas, that is not a surprise.
The quality of this tea is excellent, but I would call the value "good" simply because it is an expensive tea.
|B Grade - Very Smooth|
So far, I am enjoying it very much. It is a new experience for me to make tea from tea leaves, it has been fun. The green tea is very smooth and tasty, and I am only on the B grade.B Grade -
|King Grade - Buy more|
I liked the tea very much! It's very specific and sweet. I recommended it to everyone I know.
The quality is very good. And I'm considering to buying it more in the future. :)
|4-in-1 Sampler - Really like it a lot|
Dear Julian, the tea was great. I really like it a lot. Just going to make a pot right now!
So far it is a 5. I've only tried AAA, B, and Jipin grade and they have all been good.
|A Grade - Tastes like hot water|
I'm not sure. I never had green tea before.
I used the directions and it came out extremely weak, so I doubled up for the next batch and still weak. Tastes like hot water.
Not sure if I'm doing something wrong. I'm not sure what it's supposed to taste like. I've been a coffee drinker all my life.
|A Grade - Best tea I've ever tasted|
Fabulous delivery - arrived when it was expected, and it truly is the best tea I have ever tasted.
|Jipin Grade - Didn't reach potential this year|
Thanks for the follow-up, the tea was good. Jipin Long Jing had a good
but sort of weak flavour - maybe the bad weather has something to do
Although I did get to taste some Xihu Long Jing, variety
#43, made by Longguan tea company, Te Ji grade, and it was quite
wonderful, I have to say that it beat your Jipin grade. :) But of
course, I understand the #43 variety can be picked earlier than the
conventional variety so the comparison might not be fair.
One of my fellow tea enthusiasts here in Helsinki arranged a grand
tasting of Long Jing, we had 10 samples in total, from B grade to Cha
Wang from different sources, also including some non-Xihu-varieties
and fakes -- they are surprisingly easy to spot when put side to side
with authentic quality Long Jing! So if my comments seem
over-critical, it is just because I am so into Long Jing that I have
put many hours to analysing the taste and differences between samples!
I think I'd rate the Long Jing at 3/5 after these considerations as I
feel it didn't this year manage to reach its fullest potential,
Overall, at this point I believe I will be ordering at least Long Jing
from you next year as well, as I feel there was a very strong
potential for excellent quality.
|AAA Grade - 5 out of 5|
It is excellent! Huge difference in taste between this tea and even slightly cheaper teas. Thanks.
|B Grade - Really like it!|
I really like the tea! Strong, but not over powering. Thank you very much!
|AAA Grade - Still way much better than the "Gong" tribute tea from other merchants!|
Yes, I agree with HQ's assessment and noticed a slight dip in quality.
If last year's harvest was rated 9/10, this 2010 harvest would be rated 7/10.
Despite that, the 2010 batch is still very good and retains the core features of Dragonwell tea, e.g. chestnutty fragrance.
Before I started to buy Dragonwell tea from you, I had experimented with other online tea merchants.
The last time I experimented with another online "Gong" brand was from some other online tea merchant besides Teaspring. I can't recall the exact name coz' it was about 2 years ago. Suffice to say, the other tea was really bad, so bad that I have even deleted the link from my Internet favourites folder! :)
So far, the only comparable dragonwell tea (to HQ's) which I have drunk was from the MeiJiaWu Tea farm in the West Lake region of China. I had the chance to order their "Wang" standard of Dragonwell tea and it was really fantastic. That's how I got started on Dragonwell tea.
When I ran out of my native Chinese supply, I tried various online brands, but still could not find anything comparable. Fortunately, I stumbled upon your website. The rest, as they say, is history.
Based on my 3 years of Dragonwell tea experience, besides the taste test criteria, I have found that REAL Dragonwell tea allows me to lose weight. Many of my office colleagues have often asked me for the secret of looking so slim. As I mentioned earlier, only HQ and the MeiJiaWu brand I relied on previously have the real nutrients to increase my metabolism and keep me slim.
I shall continue to look forward to HQ's line of Dragonwell tea.
Thanks for making such miracles possible through your website! :)
|AAA Grade - Enjoying|
Yes, I got it fine and I'm enjoying it. I guess I don't drink a ton or maybe I am conservative with it because I have a lot left. I hope it keeps, seems to be.
I'd give it a 5 though I'm a novice and not much of a judge. You're welcome to use my comments and I'd be happy to write anything specific you want.
|Jipin Grade - Excellent|
I am thoroughly enjoying the Longjing tea I received last week. So far I have been drinking the Jipin grade and it is excellent. I can't wait until I open the King grade.
Your last newsletter warned us about the effects of frost on the West Lake crop but the tea is still in excellent condition and the flavor is just as good as I remember it from years ago when a friend hand carried Longjing from Zhejiang to the United States and got me hooked.
|Jipin Grade - Delicious!|
The tea was delicious! I have already run out. I submitted my order for my next batch.
I would rate Amazing-Green-Tea a 5 on 1-5, 5 being the best
|Jipin Grade - Exceed my expectations|
I am getting ready to fill my gaiwan just now. I am so happy to have found your wonderful tea. Just another wonderful conection to my Chinese heritage, which I am so proud of.
|A Grade - Good but not as great|
I've had some really good green tea in Japanese restaurants, but tea I buy in the stores is always not very good. This was definitely better but not as good as the restaurant tea I've had in the past.
|A Grade - 5 out of 5|
Thanks for writing. The tea has a very good flavor. I like it! I give it a 5.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Much more flavor|
I love all the teas, they are somewhat mild in my opinion but if I steep them for about 4-5 minutes there is much more flavor.
I would rate them a 4 across the board.
|4-in-1 Sampler - Exceptional|
I have received the tea and tried all four samples. They are terrific. I started with the lowest grade tea and went to the highest grade.
From the first test of all four which I steeped 2 - 3 minutes the first 3 seemed to be pretty close to each other. Very light and delicate to the palate.
The highest grade I did 2 tests.
First time was 2-3 minutes was very mild and very nicely aromatic smell. The second time I steeped the same leaves 5-6 minutes which was too long as it was a touch of bitter taste but not overpowering still a nice smell.
It's 5's across the board! These teas are exceptional and I will be ordering much more in the near future.
|Jipin Grade - Great pick me up|
I can't wait to finish my breakfast, because right after that everyone brews a cup of tea. It really is a great pick me up.
On a scale of 5 I would give a 5!
AlthoughI'm not the most experienced of tea drinker, I feel good knowing that I'm drinking something that has had a decent amount of time put into it.
|B Grade - Among finest teas I've tasted|
So far, I have only brewed the B grade Longjing, and I'm excited to say that it's among the finest teas I've tasted. Actually, I was nonplussed by the quality, freshness and fine character of the tea.
I don't usually like to go by a number rating system, but the B grade Longjing would conservatively warrant 4/5.
I salute your dedication to tea and am grateful for your detailed website, which I know will be an instructive resource as I work to brew the perfect infusion with regard to timing, temperature, etc.
|AAA Grade - I would rate the tea a 6|
The triple AAA was exceptional I would recommend it to anyone who wants to really experience an exceptional tea. For the money, I was surprised how good the AAA is! I would rate the tea a 6.
The Jipin is a better grade but I enjoy one of these teas almost every day and it is nice to know that both teas are of excellent quality and have lived up to their advertising.
The one thing that most westerners do not comprehend is the balance between the caffeine and the soothing relaxing way green tea works when it is done RIGHT!
I was in China last year and worked with many relief teams after the earthquake. The one thing everyone enjoyed was the green tea. I will order more and recommend my friends to enjoy a little touch of heaven from China with me.
|King Grade - Never tasted and enjoyed such good tea|
I received the teas I ordered from you the day after you called. My wife and I can't get over how much better than most other teas we've had and are completely satisfied.
The information for preparing the teas on your website was very helpful to realize the full potential of the teas. I'll be back. . . Thank you very much! (Sorry to rant and rave, but I felt motivated.)
|4-in-1 Sampler - Puzzle solved|
I would have to rate your teas at 5 out of 5, compared to teas that I've tasted in the past. I was puzzled about Dragon Well's popularity, until I tasted your tea. The other teas in my order were also good.
|Jipin Grade - Has not been surpassed by any other tea I've had!|
Has not been surpassed by any other tea I've had!
|Jipin Grade - It's so good I eat the leaves|
Julian, I really do love it. This green tea is truly the best one I've ever tasted. It's so good I eat the leaves.
|Jipin Grade - 6 out of 5!|
Hey Julian, We rate the tea at a 6. We are so glad to have met you (by e-mail of course) We have a cup every afternoon. I'm beginning to feel like the English. lol
|AAA Grade - MUCH better (10/10)!|
I have received the tea last Friday which is exactly 10 days, thank you so much. This Dragon Well grade AAA is so MUCH better (10/10) than Dragon Well grade AA I purchase in China during my vacation last December.
Looking forward to purchase more Dragon Well from you soon Thanks again.
|A Grade - 5 out of 5|
I would give the A grade a 5 out 5 just for the mere fact that it is so close in flavor and much less in price then the AAA grade.
|AAA Grade - Amazing|
The 2009 AAA Dragon well is amazing. I did a gaiwan pouring with some friends and everyone consistently remarked on how even after 3 pourings it had this wonderful sweet undertones.
The tea also has this incredible creamy mouth feel. I would not hesitate to rate this the best Long Jing I've tasted, so 4.5 out of 5. The reason for the 4.5 out of 5 is that the A grade tea, for the price is almost as unbelievable as the AAA grade!
|King Grade - What an experience ! Like a concentrated potion of...|
What an experience ! Like a concentrated potion of incredible taste. You get the intoxicating sweet floral aftertaste of Jipin grade, plus the velvet touch of Bi Luo Chun. Incredible Gan.
The color of the leaves and of the brew is more vivid green than with the other grades. Thank you so much Julian to make that kind of quality available to us!
|A Grade - Very nice tea|
A very nice tea, I usually drink it when the weather's very hot :) It is the weather which seems to balance it best.
An intense umami flavour leaves the bag on its first opening, and this is tasted in the first infusion well but struggles in the second, with seeding I have 3 to 4 infusions of this tea, which is less than other greens for which I use the seeding method, and thus the only slightly above average score. I expect this to change with the AAA grade obviously!
|AAA Grade - This is REAL tea!|
I got the tea thanks. It only took about 10 days but I hadn't got around to replying yet. This is REAL tea! I wish I could afford more but the exchange rate to $US makes it sooo expensive!
|Jipin Grade - Totally amazed|
Dear Julian, just wanted to let you know that I've received my 2009 batch of the Jipin Grade over the weekend. I was totally amazed by the quality of the tea leaves for the 2009 batch. I'd rank the 2009 Jipin grade as being somewhere in between the 2008 King Grade and 2008 Jipin Grade.
I've ever ordered the 2008 King grade from you before and I must say that the latest 2009 Jipin batch comes very close to the subtle qualities of the King Grade than ever before. The aroma was simply astounding!
|Jipin Grade - Ahhh, now this is quality Dragon Well!|
I got the tea this week and picked it up yesterday. Thank you. We really like to get small boxes from China. Even showed it to my son's friend. Amazing how long the address is.
I have waited for Dragon Well for many months and when I first opened up the 25gr Jipin bag, the smell was sooo wonderful! Ahhh, now this is quality Dragon Well! The size and looks of the buds and leafs are perfect. A bit larger than last year, I think.
Brewing it, it tastes very nice. Maybe a bit lighter than last year. With 2008 Jipin as a reference: I would rate it 4.3 out of 5 this year. Taste it is 4. Smell is 4. Dry leaves smell is 5+. Colour and looks of dry leaves are 5. Colour of tea is 4.
|4-in-1 Sampler - I love it!|
After having the tea for a few weeks now I can safely give it a full 5/5.
I love it! It has a taste that I would say is exactly what pure, unadulterated green tea should taste like. I'm sure the next time you hear from me it will be to order more tea ;).
|Jipin Grade - Enjoying immensely|
BTW, I have received the latest December order of Dragon Well tea from you just about 2 weeks ago and am enjoying it immensely. I was and still am pleasantly surprised that it was still so GOOD!
I always thought that with the shelf life of Dragon Well tea being 1 year only, it would deteriorate after having been stored for so many months by the Tea Merchant.
I look forward to the 2009 batch of Jipin Dragon Well tea and will most likely order 1 kg from you. Before I forget, I wish you and your family a HAPPY 2009 ahead! :)
|Jipin Grade - Definite 6!!|
I have finally gotten a quiet moment to make my first pot of your green tea. I wanted to be able to sit and savor the moment, finding the quiet time to do so served to be a problem, many jobs to catch up on from my down time with illness. It is a definite 6!!
I have been telling everyone who will listen and many who don't realize they want to listen!! I have posted a blog entry today to promote the tea - check it out at: http://doriswanderings.wordpress.com
|A Grade - Considering purchasing more for a gift|
The tea is great! I am considering purchasing more for a gift.
I would rate it 4.5 -- just to leave room for some of the higher quality teas. I am very happy with it. I didn't know tea could be this good. I am drinking some now.
|4-in-1 Sampler - So pure and so delightful. Keep up the great work!|
Yes I received the tea and it surpassed my expectations. I will be ordering more. I never experienced a cup of tea so pure and so delightful. Keep up the great work! I would rate the tea a 5+++.
|Jipin Grade - Great!|
I have already received the tea - it is great! I will order again when I finish. I would rate it 5 out of 5.
|Jipin Grade - Could be mistaken for a fine white Burgundy|
The A grade is definitely a candidate for a repeat purchase, and the AAA grade may be as well. I drink some type of Long Jing almost daily, but this season is first in which I have splurged on the Jipin level of Long Jing. I am still playing with the brewing to determine whether the Jipin is worth the difference in price--especially with the weak dollar.
I have had the same question about all of the other Long Jing in this price range such as Roy Fong's Imperial Long Jing sold by Imperial Tea Court and others I tried this year. They are so much lighter, and the delicate subtleties of these teas require just the right time and place to fully appreciate them.
Here is my full note for your Jipin grade. (I keep notes on all the wines and teas I drink.)
I would say 93 pts would be 5 stars:
Brewed in glass Gaiwan at 170f, cooling to 160f as it brews. The glass brewing vessel is a must, as these little leaves perform a lovely dance. Likewise, this tea is at its best served in INAO wine tasting glass. The shape of the glass makes the most of the subtleties of this brew.
Viewed in the glass, the brew is a clear, beautiful, greenish gold color, and could be mistaken for a fine white Burgundy. The aroma is of roasted chestnuts. Taste are first nuts and toasty grasses with a depth of flavors that includes hints of stir fried vegetables that linger. Nice gan and tingling energy on the tongue followed by a mouth watering finish. 93pts
|King Grade - Best available around California for the price|
Yes, I have received the tea and drank it all by now. I must say that your teas were really good, and the king grade Dragon Well was amazing! It's probably the best available around California for the price. I will definitely order more. (:
|4-in-1 Sampler - Great experience|
Yes I received your tea and I have already drunk it all! It was the first time I had the opportunity to taste different grades from the same garden. It was a great experience.
I found that the A grade becomes more bitter and has a more pronounced "roasted" aroma. The AAA is much more subtle. The Jipin was fabulous, with a deep "buttery" flavour which I rave in Long Jing.
Thank you very much for your tea and your great customer care. I will probably order more later this year.
|King Grade - A truly unusual tea|
Having now tasted the King grade Dragon Well tea twice (it's in my cup while I write this), my verdict is: A truly unusual tea, difficult to grasp at first, but distinctly of a higher grade than the Jipin.
In the first infusion the smell of chicken broth is strong, almost dominating, only slowly giving way to a more complex array of slightly perfumed nuances, that in the second infusion reveal themselves as spices such as cinnamon, clove and ginger with just a touch of sweetness (evoking memories of Xmas!).
In the third infusion this gives way to a hint of citrus peel, the bitterness of which was anticipated already when the first infusion came to an end. The fourth infusion (where I am now) gives more than a whiff of kelp washed up on the open beach, maybe mixed with hay from nearby meadows - And tomorrow it may taste differently, I guess!
|Jipin Grade - Much bigger, more flavorful and greener|
When your Dragon Well tea arrived, it was much bigger, more flavorful and greener than the "organic" product from [another tea shop] Organic that I told you about before. Definitely a 5.
You can quote me on all that, but remove the name of the company, for your protection and mine. ;) I think that some Americans like the idea of organic...true or not, it seems to be one more layer of protection in a rugged, greedy, not-so-safe world.
I continue to be impressed by the wealth of knowledge on your site. It is an art to present it that way and not come off like you're pushing your own product, or that you are even selling one, or several.
|Jipin Grade - Best tea I have ever tasted|
The Jipin grade is the best tea I have ever tasted, though it took a few days to get used to the subtlety of the flavor. I have only used the King grade a few times since I only ordered 10 grams. I think I prefer the Jipin, though the difference to me is very subtle.
I am looking forward to receiving more Jipin and also trying the AAA and seeing how it compares.
Also I would like to mention that I have lost about 25-30 lbs in the last several months, and I attribute this to several things, but drinking 2 cups of green tea a day is definitely one of them. Thank you for providing access to such high quality tea!
|Jipin Grade - Seem to be improving slightly as it ages|
The tea certainly meets my expectations but did not exceed them. I would have to rate it at 4+ (though admittedly my tea experience is much less than my coffee experience). The tea does seem to be improving slightly as it ages.
|AAA Grade - Excellent product at a terrific price|
Sorry for the late reply, I've been out for a bit and not checking email. The 2008 batch is quite similar to the 2007 batch with the delicious nutty flavor though it is possibly a bit more aromatic than the 2007 batch. All in all I am very satisfied as usual and give it 5 thumbs up.
I sent one of the two packages I ordered to a good friend and she was very surprised at how excellent the tea was. She didn't realize green tea could be so good and I have likely made you another convert.
You have an excellent product and you provide it at a terrific price...I will be a long time customer!
|Jipin Grade - Simply lovely|
I received the 2008 Gong Jipin Grade about 2 weeks ago and have been living in heavenly bliss so far! The lovely chestnutty aroma is good enough to bring one to tea heaven. :)
The 2008 batch also seems to be one notch better than your 2007 batch in terms of taste. There is a delicate (but not too delicate) amount of sweetness, which makes this tea simply lovely at any time of the day.
For brewing, I add about 2 generous pinches of tea leaves to a regular sized mug of hot water (about 90'C). This grade of tea lasts at least 3 infusions. It's so good, I ordered another batch of 250 grams.
|Jipin Grade - Really love it!|
I just wanted to let you know that I received my Jipin Dragonwell a few weeks ago and really love it! It's absolutely delicious and I can see thousands of little hairs on the spoon every time I scoop it.
And, I'd say it's a 5, from what I've tasted (which is limited, I admit). But, I can tell you that I love the fact that the second steep is not tannic.
That's a huge problem with Dragon Well in my experience, because I steep them hot and long. After the first infusion, the leaves smell delicious and rich... not at all bitter and tannic. Thanks!
|AAA Grade - I am very happy with the tea|
I am very happy with the tea. I started drinking Dragon Well tea in 2004 when a friend introduced me to it. I bought another batch in 2005. Then I ran out, but my friend and I couldn't find a place to buy more. I tried other teas, but nothing compared to Dragon Well tea.
So I went back to drinking coffee, but I really missed the tea. Upon reading your description, I was convinced it was the same tea I had tasted before. The packaging is a little different, but the taste is as I remember it, if not better.
As Danica said, the fragrance lingers sweetly on the taste buds long afterwards. I want to serve some to some friends who have told me they don't like green tea. They make green tea with tea bags from the store. I think this tea will change their minds.
Every morning, I make tea in a 32 oz Nalgene bottle and drink it throughout the day. It is nice to watch the tea buds swirling in the bottle. I can almost see them growing beside the lake, and I think about the people who picked and prepared them. I am looking forward to the Jipn grade tea!
|AAA Grade - First green tea that I can actually drink without sugar!|
This is the first green tea that I can actually drink without sugar or an artificial sweetener. The green tea I get at the health food stores always seems to have too much bitterness to drink straight.
|AAA Grade - Enjoying it|
|AAA Grade - Wow! This is great stuff!|
Wow! This is great stuff! I'm only starting to appreciate the subtleties of good green tea and this surely is the best I've ever tasted. Plus, your service is friendly and your shipping is fast - can't beat that! Keep up the great work!
|AAA Grade - Can?t get enough|
Initially disappointed (never tried it before, and needed to train my palate), later pleased, and now can't get enough of it. I've also converted my mum to this tea. This combined with me drinking it by the pint means I need to buy some more.
|AAA Grade - Love it|
I have been using daily for a few weeks now. I love it and will be placing another order as soon as I run out.
|AAA Grade - Highly recommended|
I ordered two 100g Dragon Well tea portions, and after a few days I received the tea. Each 100g portion was placed in an aluminium foil bag that was inside a beautiful painted metal can. Can't be more airtight than this.
Opening up the aluminum bag reveals a powerful scent of nyponxxxx, and many small flat leaves that are made up out of one, two, or three leaves.
The colour is light-green with a tone of brown. Brewing this Dragon Well tea is a real pleasure as it is quite spectacular to watch when the leaves first float on the top of the cup and then slowly sinks in vertically. Like a water ballet. Mentally soothing.
The smell is an amalgam out of algae, mushrooms, earth, and raspberry. Is also reminds me of how it can smell in an old untouched wood.
Taste is light but not boring. It is kind of a harmonic taste. It is not strong nor not too weak. It is a tea you can drink a lot. It is mild. Slightly sweet.
The aftertaste is fabulous: looong and sweet. Even thought the tea is relatively weak, it still is strong enough to stand three infusions.
The quest for finding top quality Dragon Well tea can be a long, frustrating, and painful one - and expensive, too. Amazing Green Tea has helped us searchers and made the journey much more pleasant. And all this at a relatively low price!
Julian Tai's personal enthusiasm really shines through when he writes about this tea. To know in detail where and when the tea has been picked, and what the tea garden owner's name is give me a more total enjoyment of his Dragon Well tea.
It is like drinking an exotic wine (which I also enjoy) from an exotic wine yard that is owned by a baron. Service is top-notch! Highly recommended.
|AAA Grade - Very good|
This Dragon Well tea is very good.
|AAA Grade - Not quite as excellent|
I visited China in 2004 and bought the most amazing green tea from a plantation I visited in Hangzhou. I used it all and have been on a quest to find the same quality of tea ever since.
The Tribute Dragon Well is very good, but still not quite as excellent as the grade A green tea I bought on my trip.
|AAA Grade - I'm definitely getting an education|
This Dragon Well tea has a subtle, but very pleasing nutty flavor that I find really refreshing. Also, you were right that this tea is robust, I can use it about 3 times before it loses its flavor which makes it very cost effective.
Oh, and before I forget, this tea looks nothing like the shredded, ground up stuff I typically see. Very distinct, intact, small leaves with a pretty pungent, but pleasant aroma. I guess you can really notice the difference between quality tea and average tea...
I'm definitely getting an education with this tea. You and HQ provide a quality product at a reasonable price with excellent customer service. Keep in touch.
|AAA Grade - The taste is so subtle|
The taste is so subtle. Even the strong tannins present after sitting for a longer time are soft and of their worth. It is truly a remarkable tea that you have.
Did you say that your family grows and prepares this Dragon Well tea? I would enjoy knowing more of the land through which this tea comes into life.
AAA Grade - Finest I've tasted
|AAA Grade - Finest I've tasted|
... Dragon Well tea is my favorite, and I began sourcing it from several places to compare. So when your tea arrived I had at least 3-4 others on hand in small amounts. Naturally I brewed your tea the day it came and it was marvelous! It is remarkably fresher than all my other (now year-old) samples.
I was pretty excited about the new 2007 harvest, and my excitement was justified. Before I brew a tea I select 2-3 that I?d like to have and let my wife sniff the dry leaves and have her choose the one to brew. She ALWAYS chooses your tea for me ? and they are all in unlabeled tins, so she chooses it blindly.
My wife doesn't drink caffeinated beverages, but she always takes a sip of my tea and, again, she always smiles broadly and lets out a huge sigh after taking her sip of your tea. Even though she doesn't drink it, your tea is her favorite too! Your tea also doesn't seem to be as heavily cooked (pan-fired) as other Dragon Well tea are, and that makes it fresher, moister and sweeter in the cup.
It never becomes bitter or over-extracted. It's beautiful in the pot with all the standing/dancing leaves. It's even beautiful when I dump the spent leaves in the sink: they are exactly like they were when they were picked, no broken bits, a perfect bud and leaf, a pale green color.
I hope it's clear from my enthusiasm that I enjoy this tea very, very much. I will order again. I endorse your tea as the finest Dragon Well tea I've tasted, and at this point I have tried, let's see - six different vendors.
However, there's no need to expand my horizons further: I've found the one for me!
|Jipin Grade - WOW! Much more elegant, more full bodied|
The first time I tried it was WOW! Much more elegant, more full bodied, less bad tastes, purer than the Special Grade. Ah, wonderful. This is the real thing!
It is so soothing. I feel like a monk sitting by a huge mountain just relaxing. Black tea makes me run around in comparison.
Today, I did a wine-style testing of the Special and Ultimate grades. Made 3 brews of each - with 6 wine glasses. Yes, wine tasting glasses. They keep the bouquet nicely in the glass and it is easy to see the colour of the tea against a white background. 4,5,7 minutes brewing time of a table spoon (15ml) of Dragon Well tea. Jipin Grade leaves are greener, larger and less small stuff. Feel like higher quality.
When brewed, it is lighter in colour. More greenish, less brownish and less golden. Also taste more full bodied, a bit more fruity - more fresh (like comparing a new apple with an old apple - more sourly fresh). Smell is also more fresh. Less oily.
|Jipin Grade - Best I have ever tasted|
I would definitely rate it a 5, meaning the best I have ever tasted; however, I have to admit that my experience is very limited. I notice two differences between the Ultimate grade and the Special grade--(1) the Ultimate grade is sweeter. (2)
I make up 750 ml of tea in the morning and take it with me to work, leaving the tea leaves in. By the end of the day the AAA grade can become somewhat bitter. The Jipin grade does not do this.
Your newsletter has definitely sparked my interest in further exploring the world of tea, and I look forward to trying some of your other teas. I never expected to turn into a tea aficionado!
|Jipin Grade - Fantastic|
Yes, I got the tea a couple of weeks ago. Thank You and I love it! I think it's fantastic.
|Jipin Grade - Best I have tried|
The best green tea I have tried. Mild but very flavorful.
|Jipin Grade - Really enjoyed|
By the way, I really enjoyed the Dragon Well tea samples you sent me. Now when I drink the store bought green it tastes like Lipton tea. I'd swear they put some sort of filler tea in with the green tea. It doesn't even come close to what I ordered from you.
|Jipin Grade - An acquired taste|
Your tea has now arrived, very neatly packed with all leaves lying parallel to each other - I am all for aesthetics!
We (two tasters) have tasted the tea on three occasions, and we find a very pleasant note - to me rather like an elegant chicken broth (probably what you describe as chestnutty); but after that, there isn't much distinctness right away, I must say; but then later the aftertaste sometimes pops up again.
An interesting experience, indeed! I do like the Dragon Well tea - as I wrote, it is an acquired taste, and I have become acquired to it by now. My rating would be at least 4 (until I taste the other teas from your gardens, I have to reserve the rating 5 - ).
|Jipin Grade - Delicate but flavorful, very smooth finish|
I would rate it 5 out of 5 - excellent. It is delicate but flavorful, very smooth finish. I will look forward to the oolong teas. Thank you for the information.
|Jipin Grade - Finest that we have tasted|
Having received the packages of the Jipin Grade of your Dragon Well green tea after a short wait, we - the significant other and I - opened the package like two kids on Christmas morning rather than the forty somethings we are.
It seems that having spent 6 weeks in China this Year it seems to have that affect on us! The Tea is the finest that we have tasted: it is smooth and has a great essence of the East.
I take a flask to work every day & find the leaves last for two or three brews. I must say that I do feel the benefits of drinking Dragon Well everyday. Having brought 250 grams worth which was great value, we should have enough until the next harvest!
Sunny Regards of the Day to you All Jon & Jane
Tea leaves are sealed into their respective packet size of your order with a polyfoil laminate. They are air-tight pouches that can withstand international delivery.
Largest packet size is 50 grams. You open the packet one at a time according to your pace.
Maturation and Aging
We only sell the latest spring crop harvested in the previous March to April.
It takes up to 3 months for the tea to mature and the flavors to fully emerge.
How to Brew
Brewing quality Chinese green tea is the opposite of brewing a Japanese green tea.You should infuse a small amount of leaves in high temperature water for as long as it takes.
A good starting point is to use 2 grams of tea leaves with 8 ounces (225 milliliters) of water.
(For Dragon Well tea, 1 gram correspond to roughly 60 tea buds. See the picture on the right.)
Pour hot water of 195 Fahrenheit (90 degree Celsius). Steep until most of the tea buds has sink to the bottom of the glass and the tea liquor turns yellow. This will take 5 to 10 minutes for the first infusion.
Decant and leave one-third to use as the seed for the next infusion.
Infuse for another 2 to 4 times with progressively shorter steeping time.
(For Dragon Well tea, I also like to steep with the tiniest concentration at 1 gram per 8 ounce water.)
Glass is highly recommended for a number of reasons:
It disperses heat quickly and prevents over-steeping.
It allows you to admire the tea buds. Quality of tea is related directly to the beauty of the buds.
It tells you the tea is ready to drink when the tea buds have settled to the bottom.
You can decant the liquor to a white ceramic bowl such as a gaiwan to drink.
If you are feeling adventurous during the summer, check out this sun brewing tip from James, who lives in Georgetown:
I bought a sun tea jar to make my tea. So far, so good!
I measure the amount of tea and water according to your recommendation and place the covered glass jar in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours.
The astringent elements of the green tea become very soothing when blended with ice, fresh lemon, and fresh navel oranges from California.
It is also very good sun brewed with whole clove and cranberries, or any of the above combinations. I enjoy sun brewing while the summer heat is here.
How To Store
The higher the tea quality, the more easily it loses its flavor. Put some effort and it should keep fresh for a year.
If the tea is sealed, keep in a freezer. Cover with a box to insulate from temperature change. Leave to warm to room temperature before opening. This prevents condensation.
Once the package has been opened, store away from light, moisture, smell and heat in an airtight container.
Green Tea Storage - Guarding Against The Five Thieves
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