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My quest for an affordable everyday Dragonwell has landed me here. This is a good value Longjing, though nothing particularly special, that still lends itself to some of the complexity of higher grades I’ve tried. I purchase mine at the Pasadena, CA storefront and the photograph here is a good representation. The tea itself is partially broken, with a few full leaves and a very small amount of white lump. Though not as esthetically pleasing to watch brew as a higher grade full leaf, the resulting liquor is fairly good, though a bit cloudy. I start my day with this Longjing.

I first pour just boiled water directly into my 16 oz glass tumbler, after a few moments I then transfer the water to a 16 oz single wall glass mug. I introduce 3 generous teaspoons of tea to my empty, preheated tumbler, swirling it about the empty, but moist container, enjoying the telltale toasty aroma with hints of cocoa. When my glass mug is hot to the touch I find I’ve reached a good brewing temperature for this tea (about 175-180℉). Introducing a few oz. of water to the tumbler, I then swirl the tea gently, evenly wetting the leaves and enjoy the fragrance again, which introduces a richer nutty, walnut quality. Transferring the remainder of the water to the the tumbler, I allow the tea to steep for about 2 more minutes, or whenever the leaves begin to descend to the bottom of the glass. Mild agitation, literally picking up the tumbler will sometimes coax this process along. I decant the resulting tea into my preheated glass mug, leaving a nice root, enough in the tumbler to keep the leaves covered in water.

The first brew, as I said is cloudy, but has a nice golden color with slight hint of green. The taste profile represents many of the common traits one would expect from Longjing, soft, rich, toasty flavor, with a somewhat viscous mouth feel, but it also presents a nice combination of mild, tingly astringency, with a underlying lingering sweetness that reveals itself.

The second brew, less cloudy, I find the most satisfying. I fill my mug with the previously boiled water (or reboiled, if I’ve waited too long), allowing it to heat the glass a bit. I use this to fill the tumbler. The root has usually sat for a while while I enjoyed the first cup. Therefore I reduce the brewing time to about 1 minute or so, and often give the tumbler a slight twirl to allow the tea leaves to spin a bit and distribute their flavors more evenly. The combination of the cooled root and lightly cooled water yields a good temperature for this second brewing. The initial notes have softened a bit, and much of what I report of the first brewing is present, but with the introduction of some vegetal qualities. The mouth feel becomes lighter, and the tingly astringency and sweetness more pronounced, while not becoming bitter. This results in a pleasant clean aftertaste, leaving your palate energized.

The third, and final brewing for me, I tend to let sit longer, often 3 or more minutes. Again using the same cooling method for the water. I pour off the entire brewed contents to enjoy. Depending on how long I let it go, the final tea can sometimes verge on bitter, but as many of the initial smooth, nutty qualities have wained, I find this compliments the final brew. You are left with a nice, clean, tingly vegetal, somewhat dry liquor, that leaves you wanting more.

For $15/4oz. I’d say that’s a win.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

my fave Dragonwell is from The Kiosque in Montreal. Really good quality.

Mark B

Nice. Hope to try it sometime. I just bought a pound of Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea from Teavivre. At $76 + samples & a X-Mas bonus of 100 grams of Premium Dragon Well, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. Even without all the extras that’s less than $4.50 USD per oz.

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Indigobloom

my fave Dragonwell is from The Kiosque in Montreal. Really good quality.

Mark B

Nice. Hope to try it sometime. I just bought a pound of Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea from Teavivre. At $76 + samples & a X-Mas bonus of 100 grams of Premium Dragon Well, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. Even without all the extras that’s less than $4.50 USD per oz.

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Bio

Recovering coffee drinker. I prefer green tea varieties with a focus on high theanine content.

I generally make my teas using a 10 oz. double wall glass tumbler. Alternately I sometimes use a smaller 8 oz. glass tea infuser. More recently I’Ive fallen in love with a little 5 oz. double wall glass w/ filter kit from Finum. It’s kinda awesome. I prepare the occasional Black or Oolong teas mostly in a Yixing clay or porcelain teapot. I’ve been known to bust out the Gaiwan every now and then too. Basically whatever catches my fancy.

My usual tall glass brewing method: http://bit.ly/brewingmethod

My rating system:

I’ve never really felt compelled to include a rating guide here, but upon reflection I noticed something; I think I’ve subconsciously been rating teas like my papers were graded when I was a kid in school. Do with it what you will.

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
<59 = F(ail)

I can quit any time.

PS- Any runners out there can find me on RunKeeper or Dailymile.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Ergolad
http://dailymile.com/people/markballou

Location

Burbank, CA, USA

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