88

I ordered this tea quite a while ago, but never got around to trying it because I didn’t have a scale to weigh the leaves and wasn’t confident on my ability to estimate. Then I finally brought my kitchen scale into work, but still I forgot that I had this tea and now could drink it, until just the other day. Well, I’m finally trying it now.

Let me start out by saying that I am attempting to follow the “dragowell style” steeping instructions on Verdant’s website. However, I am a little miffed that the instructions on Verdant’s site say nothing about the size of the “glass tumbler” used in this method. A medium sized gaiwan, I know what that means. There is not a standard size of a glass tumbler. :P

My cup is about 8oz I think, for anyone looking for the sizes people have used. Otherwise, I followed the instructions. Except for the fact that just about the entire batch of tea leaves is floating on the top of my in a thick layer (and my mug is a wide mouth!), making “blowing them out of the way” nearly impossible. I am definitely eating quite a few leaves, not exactly on purpose. Not to mention that in attempting to blow the leaves out of the way I am mostly succeeding in blowing water all over the place (the water moves, the tea leaves don’t!). This is not exactly an enjoyable way for me to drink a cup of tea.

With all the fussing and such, I couldn’t even concentrate on the tea. What I did taste was tasty, with a nice buttery-bakery flavor that I like in dragonwells. But this experience was not conducive to a review. I just don’t forsee myself brewing it this way again. Gaiwan/teapot it is, next time.

Mark B

I hate hearing that you didn’t have the best experience with this tea. Here’s my two cents. Hope it helps:

If you’re going with the tall glass method, I would at minimum recommend a ten to 16 oz tempered glass. I’ve used everything from a pint glass for beer to standard cooler glasses like you’d find in this image search:

http://goo.gl/jShf0

I usually go with double wall tumblers that I talk about in my profile. Either way, my tall glass method for consuming ALL Dragonwell/Longjing teas, regardless of cup choice, is to first warm the cup with hot water and pour off. Then I introduce about 3 teaspoons of tea give or take depending on size of cup. For instance with my 10 oz I can get away with 2 to 3 teaspoons, depending on how much volume there is to the leaf (sorry this is not an exact science, but more feel). If it were a 16 oz tumbler I might go tablespoons.

Maybe this will help; most samples come 5 to 7 grams. If I were brewing this from a sample, I’d use the whole thing. Coincidentally, when I measure by eye, 3 teaspoons usually ends up to be 5-7g.

Anyway, So you warm the glass. Then drop those leaves in the glass and give it a nice swirl or shake in the warm damp environment. Give it a whiff. Right?? Let the journey begin.

Now take water in temp ranging from 175-185˚F and pour along the edges of the glass until you have about an inch of water in the bottom. Swirl the tea gently around in the glass for about 30 seconds to wet the leaves and prime them for steeping. For water temperature, if you don’t have a thermometer, I find boiled water will get into this temperature range by filling your cold glass, and then pouring it off into another while you go through the first prep stages. This warms the glass and cools the water at the same time. It’s particularly effective with thick tempered glass as the glass retains a lot of the heat. Then, while you drink, as your boiled water sits in the kettle, it will naturally fall in temp while you do multiple infusions. Mind you it may fall below temp, depending on how long you take, and heating and decanting can help get you back into the ballpark.

So, after a 30 second swirl you can now fill your glass, leaving a little breathing room. Leaving room is just civilized, and if using a filtered tumbler, it’s also practical. Some would say you let the tea steep until 80% of the leaves drop. I don’t find this to be the case, particularly with high quality teas. A 30-45 sec 1st steep is plenty, maybe even less depending on how strong you like your tea. Consider that you’ve already primed the leaves for 30 secs in the first stage…

Now decant your tea into another warmed glass. Use a filter if you must, or simply a fork to hold back the leaf. But here’s the trick, leave a “root.” A root is about 1/3 of the water, enough to keep the leaves covered. Enjoy your first infusion.

For the second infusion, I’ll fill the glass again, but this steep is usually pretty short, maybe 20-30 secs. My logic is that the root has been sitting for a bit, the leaves have yielded a lot of flavor and thus it’s not going to take much to get where I want to go. Use your nose and eyes too. How does the color look? Does it smell like it’s ready? Sometimes I’ll even give the glass a gentle swirl to distribute the leaves more evenly. Drink and enjoy. Assuming you’ve left a root and were using a 10 oz glass, you’ve just enjoyed two 5 oz cups of tea.

For the 3rd infusion time may be a bit more of a factor. Your water temp may be lower (and you may be too lazy to get water up to temp), so you may take longer. I’m usually lazy, and my waters usually dropped to about 160. So this turns into 45sec-1min steep. Leave your root, drink and enjoy.

Steep 4 is where I usually drain my brewing vessel and call it quits, but your experience may vary. Again with my lazy water temps, I might fill the glass and let brew for a while. This might sit for upward of 5 mins while I drink my 3rd infusion, or get lost in something else.

When it’s all said and done, 5-7 grams of tea yields about 24-30 oz of liquid goodness.

Now I know this is not quite the same method that David outlines at Verdant, but the results for me are quite dependable. Hope you find the same. Sometimes, when I’m on the move, I drink directly from the glass and add water as I go, but I prefer to decant. When I’m not decanting I prefer to use a filter and refill the glass even before the half way point, otherwise I find the tea too strong.

For the videos that got me started on this method, check here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kff7OxaWhM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_r3ZGxmfY

Invader Zim

This is extremely helpful. I could never get the tumbler method to work for me, but I’ll have to give this a try!

Dinosara

Wow, thanks for the comment Mark. Those are quite detailed instructions!

My main problem was that the leaves never sunk, in fact the ones on the bottom floated to the surface! And there was no decanting in the instructions, but I definitely do need to decant. What you describe is basically how I experienced green tea tastings in China, so I should have definitely just tried to go with that. Thanks for the suggestions.

ashmanra

Wow! Thank you for taking the time to type all of that out and link the videos, Mark B. I was unfamiliar with that method. I can’t wait to try it!

Mark B

Glad you folks like the info. Report back your results!

Dinosara, I find the leaves don’t sink when the water temp is not high enough. But using the method I outline, they always eventually descend, especially on the 2nd steep. It’s a fine line of temperature there though.

Also, I didn’t mention it, but I NEVER cover my glass. I find this tends towards stewing the leaves, which is not what I’m going for. It changes the flavor profile dramatically and a lot of the subtlety can be lost. Let’s call this more gently coaxing the spirit of the tea out until it submits!

ashmanra

I watched the timer on the video and the majority of the leaves plummeted at almost exactly three minutes.

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Comments

Mark B

I hate hearing that you didn’t have the best experience with this tea. Here’s my two cents. Hope it helps:

If you’re going with the tall glass method, I would at minimum recommend a ten to 16 oz tempered glass. I’ve used everything from a pint glass for beer to standard cooler glasses like you’d find in this image search:

http://goo.gl/jShf0

I usually go with double wall tumblers that I talk about in my profile. Either way, my tall glass method for consuming ALL Dragonwell/Longjing teas, regardless of cup choice, is to first warm the cup with hot water and pour off. Then I introduce about 3 teaspoons of tea give or take depending on size of cup. For instance with my 10 oz I can get away with 2 to 3 teaspoons, depending on how much volume there is to the leaf (sorry this is not an exact science, but more feel). If it were a 16 oz tumbler I might go tablespoons.

Maybe this will help; most samples come 5 to 7 grams. If I were brewing this from a sample, I’d use the whole thing. Coincidentally, when I measure by eye, 3 teaspoons usually ends up to be 5-7g.

Anyway, So you warm the glass. Then drop those leaves in the glass and give it a nice swirl or shake in the warm damp environment. Give it a whiff. Right?? Let the journey begin.

Now take water in temp ranging from 175-185˚F and pour along the edges of the glass until you have about an inch of water in the bottom. Swirl the tea gently around in the glass for about 30 seconds to wet the leaves and prime them for steeping. For water temperature, if you don’t have a thermometer, I find boiled water will get into this temperature range by filling your cold glass, and then pouring it off into another while you go through the first prep stages. This warms the glass and cools the water at the same time. It’s particularly effective with thick tempered glass as the glass retains a lot of the heat. Then, while you drink, as your boiled water sits in the kettle, it will naturally fall in temp while you do multiple infusions. Mind you it may fall below temp, depending on how long you take, and heating and decanting can help get you back into the ballpark.

So, after a 30 second swirl you can now fill your glass, leaving a little breathing room. Leaving room is just civilized, and if using a filtered tumbler, it’s also practical. Some would say you let the tea steep until 80% of the leaves drop. I don’t find this to be the case, particularly with high quality teas. A 30-45 sec 1st steep is plenty, maybe even less depending on how strong you like your tea. Consider that you’ve already primed the leaves for 30 secs in the first stage…

Now decant your tea into another warmed glass. Use a filter if you must, or simply a fork to hold back the leaf. But here’s the trick, leave a “root.” A root is about 1/3 of the water, enough to keep the leaves covered. Enjoy your first infusion.

For the second infusion, I’ll fill the glass again, but this steep is usually pretty short, maybe 20-30 secs. My logic is that the root has been sitting for a bit, the leaves have yielded a lot of flavor and thus it’s not going to take much to get where I want to go. Use your nose and eyes too. How does the color look? Does it smell like it’s ready? Sometimes I’ll even give the glass a gentle swirl to distribute the leaves more evenly. Drink and enjoy. Assuming you’ve left a root and were using a 10 oz glass, you’ve just enjoyed two 5 oz cups of tea.

For the 3rd infusion time may be a bit more of a factor. Your water temp may be lower (and you may be too lazy to get water up to temp), so you may take longer. I’m usually lazy, and my waters usually dropped to about 160. So this turns into 45sec-1min steep. Leave your root, drink and enjoy.

Steep 4 is where I usually drain my brewing vessel and call it quits, but your experience may vary. Again with my lazy water temps, I might fill the glass and let brew for a while. This might sit for upward of 5 mins while I drink my 3rd infusion, or get lost in something else.

When it’s all said and done, 5-7 grams of tea yields about 24-30 oz of liquid goodness.

Now I know this is not quite the same method that David outlines at Verdant, but the results for me are quite dependable. Hope you find the same. Sometimes, when I’m on the move, I drink directly from the glass and add water as I go, but I prefer to decant. When I’m not decanting I prefer to use a filter and refill the glass even before the half way point, otherwise I find the tea too strong.

For the videos that got me started on this method, check here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kff7OxaWhM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_r3ZGxmfY

Invader Zim

This is extremely helpful. I could never get the tumbler method to work for me, but I’ll have to give this a try!

Dinosara

Wow, thanks for the comment Mark. Those are quite detailed instructions!

My main problem was that the leaves never sunk, in fact the ones on the bottom floated to the surface! And there was no decanting in the instructions, but I definitely do need to decant. What you describe is basically how I experienced green tea tastings in China, so I should have definitely just tried to go with that. Thanks for the suggestions.

ashmanra

Wow! Thank you for taking the time to type all of that out and link the videos, Mark B. I was unfamiliar with that method. I can’t wait to try it!

Mark B

Glad you folks like the info. Report back your results!

Dinosara, I find the leaves don’t sink when the water temp is not high enough. But using the method I outline, they always eventually descend, especially on the 2nd steep. It’s a fine line of temperature there though.

Also, I didn’t mention it, but I NEVER cover my glass. I find this tends towards stewing the leaves, which is not what I’m going for. It changes the flavor profile dramatically and a lot of the subtlety can be lost. Let’s call this more gently coaxing the spirit of the tea out until it submits!

ashmanra

I watched the timer on the video and the majority of the leaves plummeted at almost exactly three minutes.

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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