Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Tea: Dragonwell (Organic)
Vendor: Dragonwater Tea
Price: $24.60 / 4 oz.
Source: Zhejiang, China
Vendor Description: This entirely handmade, organic, superior-grade green tea is the most famous of China's Fifty Famous Teas.

Dragonwell (Organic) Tea. This entirely handmade, organic, superior-grade green tea is the most famous of China's Fifty Famous Teas. USDA organic.

Produced in the small Chinese village of Lung Ching (Dragon Well) west of the famous West Lake in Zhejiang province, this tea is known for its "four uniques": its green color, mellow taste, aroma, and beautiful shape. It has long been celebrated in both prose and poem, including mention by Lu Yu himself in Cha Jing (Classic of Tea) and famed Tang dynasty poet Su Dongpo.

One of the true congou teas, this one requires great gongfu, or skilled discipline, to harvest and create. Only the most tender buds and leaf are plucked by skilled fingers. They are then pan-fried in woks at carefully controlled temperatures to give the leaf its flat, dark green appearance. No other processing occurs.

Produces a yellowish-green cup with a slightly sweet, fresh flavor and a famous lingering aftertaste.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea was very dark in color with a significant amount of broken leaves. The leaves were not evenly pressed down. The quality of the firing job was not as good as that of the Just4Tea Dragonwell. The dark color had more brown hues to it than green which was a bit surprising.

1st Infusion: This dragonwell was quite different than the others that I have tried. The aroma was significantly weaker, and reminded me somewhat of the roasted aroma of a Japanese green tea, like a Hojicha. The tea has a very light and smooth flavor to it, much lighter than the other Dragonwells that I have tried. The light flavor has a very unusual feeling to it as the tea is medium bodied and fills the mouth with this light flavor to a certain degree. Most of the more full bodied teas I have tried as of late have had a heavier flavor to be carried, but this carries a light flavor throughout the mouth. To pair with the light flavor though is no bitterness or astringency. At first I had thought that I might have under steeped this tea, although upon inspection of the used leaves they were almost completely opened. So far though this is the only dragonwell not to give me a headache. The flavor that I seem to associate with dragonwell was only slightly present in this tea.

Rating: 1/10

Conclusion: I'm not really sure who would do well by this tea. It is relatively expensive and there are much better dragonwells out there. I was really unimpressed by this tea.

No comments: