This is certainly a tea you can over brew. Unlike some teas, in my experience, once it goes bitter, no amount of additional water will dilute and save it. Treating this like a traditional Longjing Dragonwell would be a mistake. I prepare this tea in my double wall glass tumbler using about 175 °F water. Most of the time I leave a root with my Longjings. In my opinion, as with the other Laoshan greens that I’ve tried, this needs to be fully decanted.
I think Verdant Tea’s brewing instructions are spot on, and see why they include a demonstration video. This tea is finicky. The 1 min steep recommended in the written instructions? I’d venture to say even that is a bit too long. As you’ll see in the video, he’s working in seconds, not minutes. Also if you wait for the leaves to drop, which I found was very slowly (if at all), you’re again asking for trouble.
It’s certainly a beautiful tea to look at, both the dry and wet leaves. The color of the brew is lively and vibrant. It shares many of the qualities of the Laoshan Greens that I’ve tried, though the pan firing Dragonwell preparation introduce a bit of cinnamon nose and first taste impression. But honestly, I’m not going to go into more detail here because I’m just generally put off by this tea.
I’ve wanted to like it. I had the same reaction to the previous Autumn Dragonwell Laoshan. I respect Verdent and appreciate what they offer and how they operate. But, in the end I think this tea is just too much work. I believe you can get a wonderful result under certain circumstances, but I’ve been more disappointed than rewarded. Maybe I lack patience. Maybe I just prefer a tea that’s a bit more forgiving.