Finally I have time to do the tasting this tea deserves! I had never had Dragonwell tea before, or even a Dragonwell-styled tea, so the appearance of the leaves was quite striking. They’re flat! As if they had been pressed. I prepared it Dragonwell style, with about 3g tea in the bottom of a glass mug, then adding 175˚ water and starting to drink as soon as it’s cool enough. That took a few minutes for me (I’m a wuss – I can’t drink 150˚ water :P) so the liquor was a lovely fragrant pale green by the time I tasted it, and in the meantime I got to enjoy the beauty of the leaves dancing in the water (they float, then some turn vertical and bob up and down a bit, and gradually most sink to the bottom, though several remain upright as if they might float again). It also has the slight haze you get from silver needle teas.

Anyway, once I could drink it this was quite flavorful. I’m not good at identifying green tea flavors, but this is definitely vegetal, some mineral, and a little spicy at times.

I’ve gone through about 16oz water now, and I like this better as it goes on. The flavor waxes and wanes as I add water and let it sit, but overall it gets fuller and sweeter.

165 °F / 73 °C

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA


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