Dragonwell

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Chocolate
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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110 Tasting Notes View all

From Adagio Teas

Green tea from the Chinese village of Dragon Well (Lung Ching in local parlance). Dragon Well tea has a distinguished shape. Its leaves are broad and flat, a result of laborious drying. There is something to show for this hard work: Dragon Well tea is refreshingly smooth, sweet and delicate, among the very best of Chinese greens. Our ‘Dragon Well Requiem’ is a First Grade version of this truly sublime tea.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at www.adagio.com and in many gourmet and health food stores.

110 Tasting Notes

8
260 tasting notes

Right. I think I’ve been entirely spoiled by the phenomenal nature of Dream About Tea’s Dragonwell Spring, but this tastes like sewage now. I mean, not that pungent, but…sewage light? Essence of sewage?

I’m taking liberties a bit here, but it really is not pleasant. I subsequently had to give the rating a hearty knock down. For whatever reason, maybe because I just wanted to rid the sample from my collection, I spent a good portion of a studying day steeping this at different times and temperatures, to no avail. I became so consumed, actually, that physics had to sit on the back burner whilst I traveled a range of temperatures from 130 to 190. At each new temperature I took fresh batch of leaves and let them sit. Took the leaves out around 3:00 minutes, tried to drink it, then resteeped them once just to be sure. All I got nothing more than a variety of different intensities of the taste of dirty water. Almost soapy. It reminds me of when I was at camp and we jumped in the lake and I accidentally swallowed some water. It’s just less…silty. Actually, it really reminds me of the taste of lukewarm pool water.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the anal methodology here, it’s because I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m going on autopilot with Adagio in terms of the quality of their tea on my internal scale and I wanted to be sure I was giving them a fair shake. I went to the point of sipping out the cup while the leaves were in the infuser to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on some some magical steep time on the way to 3 minutes. Unfortunately, all the happened was that the salty, soapy taste got stronger.

What’s frustrating is that the smell of the wet leaves, and even the tea itself steaming in the cup, was making me think I could have hit it right at some points, but it was misses all over the place. A good cup of this was the dartboard and I had put several hundred holes in the wall.

I think that this is a suitable place to add that I made a rather horrifying [and yet…comforting?] discovery while I was away from Steepster. Part of my 52 teas order included a Taylor thermometer [about that time, eh chaps?] and upon the first few uses, I discovered that Adagio’s UtiliTEA is wildly inaccurate. I mean, to the tune of 20 degrees variance on the same dial setting. Could be that mine’s defective, but needless to say I won’t be recommending it to anyone anymore. Things that I noticed were that the cooler temperatures occurred when the water level was higher [made sense] but that the temperature inaccuracies occurred more often at the higher temperature settings [didn’t really make sense]. A number of times, when it was set to boil, it would give me water at 180 degrees, and that’s just ridiculous.

This is comforting to me only because it means that my oscillating opinion of black teas is likely directly correlated with the faulty kettle. For reasons I cannot determine, when put into the green range it only seems to vary around 10-15 degrees, and more often than not medians around an acceptable temperature. I don’t get it either, but what I can say is that I only really use the utiliTEA anymore when I need a lower water temperature and I know I can heat it above the desired temperature and cool it if necessary. To be safe, I tested the thermometer on water off the stove and any error in reading it may be experiencing appears to be negligible. It’s definitely the kettle.

So, I guess that’s a partial danger of discovering a new relative high on the spectrum of your awareness of anything. Things that sufficed can be demoted to the status of “only if desperate” and things that were mediocre at best can plummet to the depths of the red yucky face. I am not going to list a steep time or a water temperature because there were so many. And I’m going to leave this at one entry because I don’t want to spam you guys with the nuances of dishwater that I got from the varying trials. Dirty dishwater will suffice enough, I think. After using up almost the entirety of my sample, I had to toss the rest. I couldn’t willingly subject someone else to it, nor justify the cost of shipping to send it anywhere else other than the trash can.

There is really only one other tea that I can claim to vehemently dislike this much, and I hope that this one is the last. In any case, I can say without hesitation that I do not like this tea.

Auggy

I feel ya. Adagio’s Dragonwell was the second one I’d ever had (and the first one was even worse, if you can believe it) and I was scared off of Dragonwell for a good year and a half. A&D’s DFT Dragonwell is the only other one I’ve tried since then and thankfully it didn’t make me want to pour it out. I even liked it.

sophistre

I have sniffed mine and not tried it. Now I’m probably going to have to try it, and I’ll probably hate it. Whee!

I was skeptical when I bought my Zojirushi. I don’t want to use plastics anywhere in contact with my hot water, ever…though I think the only plastic the water really comes into contact with in it is the nozzle it dispenses from. I thought the ‘new plastics getting warm’ smell would not go away…but…it has. And it is pretty awesome. I recommend it.

Fred

I feel that dragonwell is definitely not a very good first or second foray into green tea. If you are a beginner and want to try a good green tea that wont scare you off I would suggest genmaicha. I know you’re over there saying but genmaicha is not strictly tea. Well yes it isn’t, but if you want to not be scared away by green tea it is a pleasant first way to go. I don’t drink too many Chinese green teas, but to me dragonwell was just kind of blah.

Auggy

<3 my Zojirushi. So hard.

takgoti

@auggy I enjoyed A&D’s Dragonwell, too. Though not as much as that Dragonwell Spring! May need to try both of them in succession tomorrow just to play around with temperatures.

@sophistre Don’t let my opinion on the Dragonwell sway you too terribly; there are people who enjoy this one! This was just too horrible to me not to write about. I’ve definitely been rooting around for a new degree setting heater, so thanks for your testimony on the Zojirushi! I shall add a tally mark in my little book.

@Fred Sorry, no newbie here. I’m no expert but I’d definitely not consider myself to be a beginner. I’ve had what I consider to be a sizeable enough number of greens to have some footing in the region of both Chinese and Japanese greens, and the beginning of my review stated that I’ve recently-ish been introduced to a Dragonwell that was through the roof good. This one has, partially as a result of that, partially because I didn’t like it terribly to begin with, fallen into the bowels of the under 10 rating.

Ricky

Look what you’ve done, I’m looking at a zojirushi now and it looks like a pretty Asian rice cooker. Okay, I meant design wise. You know what! I’m going to stick with my $40 water kettle that burns 1500 watts of power and continue my gestimates :D

Auggy

Zojirushi does make rice cookers so I bet there’s a reason for the similarity!
But it is so awesome. Even more awesome than my (Tiger) rice cooker. And I love my rice cooker.

teaplz

Those Zojirushis sure as expensive! Definitely not in my price range right now… I don’t even really know what I’m looking at. I’m way behind on these tea gadgety things.

Yay, the infamous Dragonhell review has arrived! DRAGONHELL. That’s right. ‘Cause that’s what this is, apparently. I trust your opinion on this, tak-tak. You’ve definitely tried tons of greens, so there’s no need to drink a sub-par Dragonhell. Especially when there’re way better ones out there that you’ve tried (i.e. Dream About Tea’s version). Nobody can accuse you of not giving it your all, though! Srsly, you tried with this mess. I applaud you for the effort!

Fred

@Takgoti Sorry I didn’t think you were a newbie. I guess I may have implied that. I was just speaking of newbies in general to green tea. I apologize.

Jillian

I really enjoyed the Dragonwell I got from a local shop. I used up the whole sample but I can maybe send you a bit when I buy more (and I definitely will!)

Suzi

@teaplz Zojirushis are a pretty penny but totally worth it. I love mine, which I got through Amazon.com – keep an eye out, they pop up in the Gold Box deals every once in a while.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever had the Dragonwell from Adagio. But I don’t think so – seems that if I had, I’d remember, based on the comments here!

Grinnyguy

Is it possible you were just having a bad day? I had a month of drinking nothing but one type of first flush darjeeling and although I loved it at the start, I was sick of it at the end. I also sometimes feel like one tea more than another, and the weather, or the food you have it with, or what you’re doing when you have it. I say wait until a nice sunny day and see if you prefer it then. Just an idea (but don’t shoot me down too hard, I’m very busy being earnestly grumpy today)

takgoti

@Fred No worries.

@Jillian Oooh, nice! I could be down with that! I think that I could be ready for another tea swap in mid to late January?

@Grinnyguy I’d almost like to think so, but no. I’ve had this a few times now [meaning on completely different occasions – I don’t log tea every time I drink it] and there was nothing remarkably different about the taste between this one and the ones then. If I’m sitting down to taste a tea I do it when I’m not eating and I’m usually not doing much else besides sitting there and drinking the tea for the exact reasons that you stated – external factors can really influence how I’m feeling about something if I let them. The real thing that so deflated my opinion of it was the introduction of a new, far, far, far superior dragonwell to my palate. I do appreciate your playing devil’s advocate, but unfortunately I don’t think I can pen this one down to simply having a bad tea day. [Consequently, I hope you enjoyed your grumpy day for what it was worth and have now shook them out for a while. We all need those days periodically.]

Grinnyguy

Fair enough, as long as you’ve given it a chance. I feel much better after getting the grump out of my system thanks. Have a wonderful christmas

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100
865 tasting notes

10th infusion, very light.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Linda

Just wondering but why are you steeping your tea over and over and over again. I will do 2 steeps but never this many. How come?

Cofftea

Why not? The leaves still produce a good cuppa! Not resteeping when the leaves are still good is just a waste of tea and money.

Linda

but so many times and it’s still good? Do you only steep within a 24 hr period? or do you keep it longer and refrig. it.

Cofftea

Yes it’s still good. That’s why I said “Not resteeping when the leaves are still good is just a waste of tea and money”. No it takes me 2 days to get thru a portion of high infusion leaves. I NEVER put them in the frige… gross…

Linda

Well if you leave it out and of course it’s wet you are asking for mold to rear it’s ugly head. This bothers me greatly as I am allergic to mold. Why would refrigerating the wet tea be grosser then mold? Come on Cofftea convince me, please

Cofftea

@Linda, I check my leaves extensively for mold. If there is mold I dump them immediately and wash my steeping vessel EXTREMELY well. Refrigerating the leaves itself wouldn’t be gross, but I think it’d produce a gross cuppa. Leaves are very sensitive to water temperature as they require a very narrow range of temp so chilling them seems to be a HORRIBLE idea. If scalding the leaves w/ too hot of water, what will happen when I expose them to fridged air and the aromas of whatever food you have in there? Not to mention trying to bring the leaves back to room temp. It just seems like an all around inconvenient, bad idea.

Linda

I might just give it a try. Problem is, though, if I am too frugal with the tea, then I won’t use it up fast enough and have an excuse to buy more. lol

Cofftea

@Linda, since you are much more sensitive to mold I’d start w/ 6. Why spend money on more tea when the tea you have will last you? I’d rather use the money I’d be saving for higher quality/more expensive tea. This financially allow that treat.

Linda

you know, you is one smart cookie, or should I say, cup of tea

Cofftea

@Linda, no- just economical when it comes to tea:) And greedy, I have LOTS of teas and teaware on my wish list. lol

Linda

I hope you get everyone you want (I hope I do too)

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70
1118 tasting notes

More green tea please. I’m not usually a fan of Dragonwell, usually a bit too dry and perfumey for me. But if I have it then I might as well drink it..or at least try it.

The leaves are crisp to the touch with green/light green combination of coloured leaves. Some have a yellow tinge to them so not the best of quality. They have a strong floral perfumey scent, like a very strong peony.

Once steeped this tea is yellow in colour with a delicate, soft and sweet floral scent.

Flavour is quite gentle, more so than I remember. Grass, honey and peony are the three main flavours I can detect, all in subtle form to create a very refreshing green tea. The dryness and perfume after taste is at a minimum also. Maybe I can also say it’s vegetal in a cabbage sort of way.

The quality is acceptable but I was hoping this tea would be better.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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48
953 tasting notes

I have to add myself to the list of this tea’s detractors. This is part of the Green Savant sampler.

It was my second Dragon Well, and very similar to the TeaFrog only with less sweetness, and more vegetalness, though this didn’t result in a tastier tea.

It has a similar buttery/milky and vegetal aroma and a light yellow/green liquor.

When I first heard about Dragon Well I thought it sounded like something I’d like quite a bit. After two tries, I’m not so sure. I do have some samples from other companies to try so I’m not ready to give up quite yet.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Sad day! I’m sorry you don’t love this one as much as I do. I even steep it to death (12-22 infusions). It’s really cool that everyone likes something different when it comes to tea… til you find one you don’t like.

__Morgana__

Mostly I just think I’m not really into Dragon Well. Of the three I tasted today, this seemed to have the least amount of flavor but it could also be that my taster is a little off today. I’m feeling kind of blah. I am also open to the idea that this will grow on me, or if not this particular one some Dragon Well somewhere.

Cofftea

Tastes definitely change (which of course you’ll probably be disappointed at some point when something you now love you don’t anymore).

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16
374 tasting notes

I’m working on liking green tea. I really am. BUT this was nowhere near any kind of good. :( I steeped it for the time listed on the bag. It went really bitter really quickly. There was also something kinda globby in the tea as I was drinking it…this did not help. I also managed to spill half on my desk…this did not add to the experience. sigh

DaisyChubb

ew. Does not sound pleasant!

The Purrfect Cup

It was VERY not good. The glob was the worst part.

SimpliciTEA

Bummer. I hope you don’t give up on green teas, though! It may take some time to find one you like, but I think you will find when you do, it’ll be worth it!

Kashyap

Dragonwell in general has so many grades and most on the market carry it for its name recognition, that many of the good ones are difficult to find and usually cost in excess of$60/# so beware cheaper imitations….would not be my first pic if your trying to like green tea, its elusive nutty/pistachio flavor is nice, but it doesn’t really evade the astringency or vaguely oceaning flavor that so many don’t like about green teas….I think I would start with a nice green Darjeeling….or verdant teas laoshan green

Angrboda

Oh dear. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be. I find Dragon Well has a very distinctive flavour, though, so don’t give up. Alternatively, make it again, pour out the first steep and go straight to the second. For me there was enormous difference between the two and the second seemed much more fresh and perky. (Of course that was a different brand, so it might still not work)

The Purrfect Cup

@SimpliciTEA – I’m not giving up! :) I know I like the Sun Dried Jingshan from Verdant, but that should mean I will like other green teas too? Right?

@Kashyap I love the Sun Dried Jingshan Green from Verdant. It came as one of my tea of the month teas a while back and I do like it. So now i’m trying to expand on that and find other greens to like. I’ll look into the Green Darjeeling – which tea co. has your favorite?

@Angrboda – Thanks for the tip! You may be right their Dragonwell or Dragonwells in general might not be my cup of tea!

TeaBrat

I have not been a fan of dragonwells in the past. I finally found a really good one and it was $24 an ounce.

CHAroma

Maybe start with some flavored greens? A while back, I couldn’t stand the vegetal flavor of green teas. But then I had some really good flavored greens and then found I liked the unflavored versions more. I still can’t appreciate Dragonwell though, so you’re not alone there!

SimpliciTEA

I brewed up a sample of the Sun Dried Jingshan green from Verdant last year, and it was one of the best tasting green teas I have ever had (it seemed to embody that hard-to-describe fresh taste I have found in only a few green teas); so, yeah, if you like it you will likely find other green teas appealing.

It seems like it’s a matter of experimenting. My wife didn’t like green teas at first (she used to call drinking it, ‘taking her medicine’), but now she actually enjoys drinking some of them. I agree that going with a flavor-added green could help ‘ease you into them’. Still, when it comes down to it, no matter how many you try, you may not like them; after all, they’re not for everyone (what is?). But if you like that Sun Dried Jingshan, you will likely find other green teas you will like. Good Luck! : )

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11
243 tasting notes

Backlogging from Saturday.

So filtering through my green tea experiences, I compare everything to Dragonwell, because as I have mentioned a few times: I LOVE DRAGONWELL. This is especially true when it is done well, and even overbrewed to get all the extra green and vegetal possible out of it. :)

This unfortunately, was not a good Dragonwell. Brewed according to instructions, hot, three minutes, no additives, the only adjective I can think of for it is “weak”.

The fragrance of the dried leaves is muted, almost bland, but this could be to exposure to light or air and can be rectified in a few ways: crushing to retrieve trapped tea flavor or overbrewing to release what is lost. These ghastly methods can also cause bitter/sour tea, and since this is not my sample, I will not destroy the leaves to fix it.

The liquor of the tea is pale green, transparent, almost as if there is nothing at all in there, almost as if it is hot water. This was fine. The aroma of the brewed tea is also weak, a faint hint of green. Finally, the flavor: it can be best described as non-existent. The hot water tastes mostly of hot water and really no dragonwell at all.

As I said, I believe this can be fixed in a few ways: more leaves, longer brewing time, or destroying leaves to release flavor. Unfortunately, I have not tried any such method with this sample because as I said it was not my sample. I did not want to force a possibly bitter Dragonwell on anyone else, but honestly, a bitter Dragonwell would have been better than no Dragonwell at all.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Madison Bartholemew

ok next time we hang out wanna destroy some leaves? I have 4 oz so there’s plenty to mess up to find out how this tea might be hidden awesome…

Cinoi

yes. next time, we will destroy the leaves. probably brew one for like an hour too.

Madison Bartholemew

that just made my stomach go weird… HOURS?

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54
974 tasting notes

Tea of the late afternoon…….

I completely forgot I had this. I got it as a free sample back in the Fall when I was going through all the issues that the first release of Adagio’s VarieTEA electric kettle. (If it is any indicator how that went, I have a UtiliTEA instead!) I did not realize that this sample costs $6. And 3oz of it is currently $19. Wow. Since I just had some of my favorite Premium Dragon Well earlier this afternoon (and it is about $13 for a similar amount!) and I had the Lung Ching from my local Asian Market yesterday, I thought I would be in a good place to compare the three.

Color on the leaves is kind of a dull yellow-green. Definitely yellower than the leaves from the Asian Market tea, but not nearly as bright green as the leaves of the Premium Dragon Well from Teavivre. It smells very similar to the market tea. It steeps up with a similar color to the market tea. The Premium Dragon Well steeps up a little brighter yellow, and this is more a golden yellow. The taste is somewhere between the market tea and the Premium. The market tea had a hint of smoke, and this might have a remnant of a similar flavor. I likened the flavor of the Premium to very fresh asparagus that is roasted, where this is more like spinach…roasted spinach. Not that great. I pretty much prefer the market tea to this as the slight smokiness makes it interesting. So glad I have tried these two other dragonwells, though. It makes no sense for me to try to find a better one than what I can get from Teavivre!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

Hah, dragonwell pals! It’s like we were having a cup of tea together. :)

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54
98 tasting notes

So, I gotta say that I wasn’t too impressed with this one. It might be because I had Miss. Li’s Dragonwell as my first Dragonwell and that was something I will never forget. This one from Adagio though… It wasn’t bad but it was no where near as complex and fulfilling as Verdant’s. It tasted grassy, a little sweet, and a bit earthy as well, just like Verdant’s but there was just something more subdued about this one from Adagio. If i were to get it again (since I only got it as a tea-to-go) I would probably make it at home and would probably try either more leaf or longer steep time, if not multiple infusions to see if the flavor changes at all.

On the plus side the new combination I made while in store turned out better then I expected. Called it “Silver Linings” made up of 45% silver needle, 35% chamomile, and 20% lavender. Very relaxing.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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95
176 tasting notes

Another work tea for today, one I shared with my coworker again. It’s too earthy for her, but earthy is what I really love about this stuff~ EARTHY AND SMOOTH!

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83
6770 tasting notes

Buttery and Vegetal. Light – smooth beginning of the sip and more of a vegetal end of the sip!

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