Sometime back, a parcel arrived for me all the way from China. I do not have any friends or family living in China, nor did anyone I know recently visit. I was surprised, to say the least. But from that simple square cardboard box came one of the most aromatic green teas I have ever come across, along with two beautiful blue Chinese tea cups. This was the Dragon Well Lung Ching Green Tea by Umi Tea Sets.
The Longjing or Lung Ching tea, also known as the Dragon Well tea is a very renowned variety of green tea. This tea is grown in Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province of China. The Long Jing or dragon well green tea is said to smell and taste like the ‘essence of chlorophyll’ and creamed hazelnuts. The leaves of the long jing tea are usually flat and broad, mostly as long as an average fingernail. The leaves look very similar to another renowned Japanese green tea – the Sencha, and should not thus be confused with the same. When you steep the long jing tea, the leaves open to yield clear and clean tea liquor. It is said that since ancient times, the scene of the West Lake and the Long Jing tea have found a lot of mentions in Chinese literature. Su Dongpo has called the Long Jing green tea as a tea that is as good as a pretty lady. The dragon well green tea has a very pleasing green color, it is highly fragrant, has a sweet taste, a very beautiful shape of the leaves, and is renowned not just in China but all over the world.
What are the attributes of the Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea?
The dragon well long jing green tea is a native of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province. The leaves are a pale green mingling with a tinge of yellow. The tea liquor has a distinct vivid green color with a hint of olive green. The long jing green tea is set to have originated in Shifeng, Longjing, Wuyun mountain, and the Hupao mountain of the Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province. Of all these places, Shifeng is said to produce the best long jing green tea. The best quality long jing green tea has flat and straight leaves. The leaves are yellowish green, straight, smooth, and perfectly uniform. The green tea liquor for this tea is yellowish green with a hint of olive, clear, and bright. The aroma of the tea is elegant and lofty with a tinge of orchid beans and creamed hazelnuts. The green tea tastes a balance of delicate sweetness and savoriness, with lively notes.
How to identify fake dragon well long jing green tea?
Fake long jing green tea feel a bit rough to touch. It will have more pod pedicles and it will taste like green grass. Compared to this, original dragon well long jing green tea would have flat, green and yellow, smooth leaves. The buds of the green tea would be erect and would be delicate like flowers.
How good is the long jing green tea?
The dragon well long jing green tea is considered to be a heavyweight champion of tea and the pride of Hangzhou. The tea consistently ranks among the top three every year among the national tea appraisals in China. Early-picked dragon well green tea usually contains about 70,000 leaves per kilogram and is considered to be the highest grade of the dragon well green tea. There are 12 different grades of this green tea, and all of them are considered outstanding.
What are the health benefits of the dragon well long jing green tea?
The long jing green tea is very good for health. It has all-round benefits – physical, mental, and spiritual.
It is considered to be very good for digestion and could even help with losing weight. The tea contains caffeine, inositol, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and other aromatic substances. These compounds can accelerate the fat and protein metabolism in the body. The polyphenols and vitamin C in the long jing green tea can help reduce cholesterol and blood fat levels. It can help prevent myocardial infarction.
The long jing green tea is very refreshing to drink. It promotes thinking faculties, helps eliminate fatigue, and improve your work efficiency.
Long jing green tea strengthens the heart, improves spasmolysis, relaxes the smooth muscles, eliminates brochospasms,promotes a healthy blood circulation. It helps alleviate the symptoms of bronchial asthma, cough, phlegm, etc. It can help prevent hardening of arteries hypertension, and coronary heart diseases.
Washing your face with the long jing green tea can help eliminate facial fat,convergence pores, slow down skin ageing, and eliminate the damage done to the skin by UV radiation. It also has a disinfecting and sterilizing effect on the skin.
What is so special about the long jing green tea?
The long jing green tea is one of the most prestigious and renowned green teas that grow in China. The best long jing green tea comes from Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang province of China. The province is known for the Lake of the West – Xi Hu. Owing to the its immense popularity, the term ‘long jing’ often gets overused and misused, making it important to distinguish between the Xi Hu long jing and the Zhejiang long jing green teas. The Xi Hu green teas come from the land of its origin are completely hand-processed – all the way from picking to the final sifting. Compared to this, the Zhejiang long jing green tea is harvested throughout the Zhejiang province. It is usually picked by hand but gets processed mechanically. The long jing tea is the most ‘copied’ tea in China so a lot of teas that do long belong to this province at all still get named as the long jing green teas, which is incorrect and usually poor imitations. Original Xi Hu long jing green tea are produced on two mountain slopes facing each other – the renowned Shie Feng (Lion’s Peak), which is the actual site of the village of Long Jing and Meijiawu, its neighboring village. The spring harvest of this tea is considered to be the most important for this green tea. The spring harvest is divided into two categories – the imperial picking which takes place before the feast of Qingming, generally around 20 March. The second picking is two weeks later called the yu qian picking. Both of these harvests are considered very high quality harvests.
What is the story behind the dragon well long jing green tea?
According to a legend, in 250 CE, a Taoist monk is believed to have come across a dragon hiding in a well near Hangzhou. The peasants of the region were praying incessantly for rains as the villages were facing a terrible drought. The monk told the praying villagers about having discovered a well and the dragon hiding in that well. They implore the dragon to help them. They all pray together. Eventually, the clouds gather, and it rains. To celebrate and commemorate this event, the tea was named as the the ‘dragon well’ tea. A nearby temple – the Xi Hu, also received the name for this.
The emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty made six trips to Hangzhou region south of the Yangtze river. HE is said to have gone to the Longjing tea region four times. There he carefully observed how the tea was harvested and how it was brewed. While there, he also tasted the tea and wrote poetry. From there, he brought the long jing green tea for the Empress Dowager. The empress is said have to had the green tea and her liver disease got cured. The empress greatly praised this dragon well long jing green tea then. The Emperor Qianlong then issued an edict to present the 18 tea trees before the Hu Gong temple in honor of what then became the ‘imperial tea’. The trees were then collected and the special tea was exclusively made for the Empress Dowager each year.
How did I brew the dragon well long jing green tea?
I took about 5g og the long jing green tea for about 100 ml of hot water. I boiled the water in a kettle,and then brought it down to 80-85 degrees Celsius. Then, I added the green tea leaves to this hot water and allow to brew for 5 to 7 minutes. During this time, the leaves open up beautifully, yielding a clear, bright green liquor with a tinge of olive. I stir the brew at 4 minutes, it is a delight to watch the ripples in the liquor with the leaves of the green tea.
My thoughts about the dragon well long jing green tea
I got a clear, aromatic tea liquor. The tea leaves by themselves remind me of freshly cut lawn grass. The fragrance hits you strongly, as soon as you open the packet. The tea has a delicate nuttyness but the pronounced green tea flavor lingers. There is a freshness to the tea which makes it a delight to have. While the aroma did remind me of the pleasing fragrance of freshly cut lawn, the taste is not grassy. The taste is that of a refreshing fresh green tea, with a hint of nuttyness. There is a delicate balance of sweetness and a very slight savoryness to the tea. I have had a lot of green tea over the years, but there’s never been anything as refreshing as this one. Having this tea in the Chinese tea cups in what I can only call my best interpretation of the Chinese tea ceremony, ensures that my senses are fully engaged in the experience of having the long jing green tea. My eyes see the beautiful brilliant green brew, my ears can hear the pouring of the green tea into the cups, my nose can take in the aroma of the tea liquor. My tongue relishes the flavor of this amazing green tea as well as perceives the texture and body of the tea. I could say having the long jing tea in the Chinese tea cups is a whole sensory experience, a very pleasant one at that.
I am thankful Umi Tea Sets gave me the chance to experience this amazing slice of Chinese heritage in the form of the dragon well long jing green tea. You can learn more about this green tea and buy it at the link below:
Also, to learn more about the Chinese tea cups or to purchase the Chinese tea cups, visit the below link.