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Dragonwell Style Laoshan Green

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Not available
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 16 oz / 473 ml

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47 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Don't have a clue whether this is a spring or autumn picking anymore.... but it's tasty. Anyways, farewell for a while, most likely... life is too busy for this stuff right now! This is all the...” Read full tasting note
    96
    kittenna 2221 tasting notes
  • “This tea came in my last order from Verdant - at times the traditional dragonwells seem a little light on flavor for me but I have always enjoyed the Laoshan greens I got from Verdant. 1st...” Read full tasting note
    94
    amyoh2 2170 tasting notes
  • “SIPDOWN! I figured I really need to start drinking some of my verdant samples since i know i'll be placing another order in the near future (well month or so). I still enjoy this one, though...” Read full tasting note
    80
    Silaena 4044 tasting notes
  • “Well ... here I am about to try my first steep of this tea - thanks to Chado for getting me to rescue it from my cabinet! I often set aside by "better" teas as if I am afraid I may never get my...” Read full tasting note
    azzrian 807 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Vibrant green, creamy sweet, and delicately grassy, this green tea was produced from leaves grown on the Taoist Holy Mountain, Laoshan. This mountain is so far North that the tea shares many flavor qualities with fine Japanese Gyokuro, since the leaves are allowed to grow in the shade of mist from the ocean, less than a mile away. Almost impossible to make bitter, and great in a gaiwan, pot or thermos, this tea will make you rethink what Dragonwell style teas have to offer. The leaves spring back to life and dance in the cup, most being a set of one or two leaves and an attached delicate bud.

About Verdant Tea View company

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47 Tasting Notes

87
174 tasting notes

This was a nice sized sample I received with my order last week, thank you David.

At first sight I am impressed by the leaves. They’re all whole leaves, not broken or tattered at all, flatten and vibrant green. Dry, the leaves have a green bean scent with something sweet that I can’t quite place my finger on. Wet, that almost candy scent is stronger and driving me nuts…I know what it is, I’ve had it before, but my brain cannot conjure up what it is, just that it is familiar.

The tea is wonderful tasting, very complex. My first thought is cooked green beans, but there is also a chestnut note and I’m getting an oceanic, salty taste to it with an almost creamy aftertaste. The oceanic note comes in at the tail end of the sip, salty and crisp. Reminds me of standing on the beach during off-season on a windy and slightly chilly yet sunny day. I can still smell that something that’s sweet and taste it on the tip of my tongue. I can’t take this anymore, what is it?!?! I went to the Verdant site to see the description for it and there it is…butter rum lifesavers.

Another wonderfully complex from Verdant!

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

I love buttered rum lifesavers…oh no! Now I’m going to obsess! This is not fair! You have ruined my life because I will not rest until I taste this!!!

Invader Zim

It was one of the first things I smelled upon opening the bag and it was driving me crazy because it smelled and tasted so good and I couldn’t figure it out! But it is good and you should try it out!

Michelle

Dragonwell is one of my favorite greens. So fantastic!

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86
41 tasting notes

Excellent “Dragonwell Style” tea from Laoshan. All of the teas from Laoshan have a very similar feel which can be attributed to their Northern location. I love the way that green teas from Laoshan actually have all of those great cooling qualities of a good Japanese Gyokuro yet maintain the heartiness of a good Chinese tea. This tea is particularly stunning in color. So fresh! So green! I myself will not drink green tea daily, but this is one that I will pull out as a great example of what Dragonwell style teas can be.

Highly recommended for green tea lovers that are looking for something new.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Chad

I can’t wait to taste this tea. I’ve never had dragon well, but I love sencha. So, it will be interesting to see how it compares.

Spoonvonstup

“I myself will not drink green tea daily..”

Now if someone would only let tea grow wild in LaoShan for a hundred years until it’s tree-sized, then pick and process the LaoShan as pu’er.. you’d be all over that stuff!

You’re such an unabashed pu’er lover. ;)

Do you have a preference for the Dragonwell-style in particular over the Wok-Fired or the Spring picking?

Nathaniel Gruber

Haha! Everybody tells me that I am very biased against green and black tea. I think that both are great, I just won’t drink them on a daily basis. Funnily enough I have only drank shu pu’er once in the past few months because I’ve been so hooked on all of the fresh, spring picking stuff that has come in. I’m sure as the weather turns back to cold after our short summer I will begin to drink shu pu’er daily once again.

As for the green tea…I can really appreciate both styles of the Laoshan tea but I think my favorite would have to be the spring picking. It is just too sweet and fresh not to love.

Jesse Örö

What does “Dragonwell Style” mean in this context? Is this from one of the Longjing cultivars, grown in Laoshan? Or maybe it’s leaves are processed in a same way, although the cultivar is different?

Nathaniel Gruber

Processed in the same way, though the cultivar is different. Correct.

Jesse Örö

Can you tell me more about this tea? Is it the same cultivar as the other Laoshan greens Verdant Teas is selling?

There were reports that there was major drought in Shandong province, and that presumably has affected the tea as well. What do you think? How is Laoshan green this year compared to last year?

David Duckler

Hi Jesse!
Thanks for the interest. This “Dragonwell Style” Laoshan is a bit confusing. In the village of Laoshan, nobody thinks of it as Dragonwell style specifically. They recently started experimenting with hand pressing the leaves flat, because the lower heat required, and the lesser degree of handling take some of the hearty bean edge off the tea and make it sweeter. We decided to call it Dragonwell Style because Dragonwell village was the first to really make that technique known, and the flat leaves are associated in the west with Dragonwell green.

There is no difference in the cultivar. In fact, all of our green teas come from a family farm of about 15 acres that has one of the privileged spots on the mountainside itself instead of the surrounding valley. Tea plants were actually brought up from Zhejiang originally. The government discovered that Taoist monks were growing tea on th emountainside, and started an experimental farm in the 50’s right in the middle of Qingdao. After playing around with their Zhejiang plants and progressively selecting heartier and hearier ones, they were ready to plant on Laoshan. After about 20 years of establishing themselves, the plants are yielding, in my opinion, some of teh best green tea out there. for more on Laoshan, you can see the article on the site:
http://verdanttea.com/gallery/dragonwell-style-laoshan-green/

About the drought: Shandong has been effected, but Laoshan is in a specialy spot that makes it pretty immune to drought. It is right nera the tip of a peninsula, about a mile inland from the ocean, and catches ocean mist every day. In fact, it is probably mountains on the coast like Laoshan that stop rain from travelling inland to water other crops. In any case, the family that we work with is very optimistic, and excited about this spring picking.

Jesse Örö

Hey, thanks for detailed answer! So, if these laoshan greens are of same area and same cultivar, difference in taste has to come from processing. Interesting, teas from same areas and processings but different cultivars are possible to find, but now there is teas of same area, same cultivar yet different processing.

David Duckler

Yes, it is not a normal thing to find so many different processing techniques for Laoshan tea. They are even making black tea out of the exact same leaves that they pick for green tea. The reason is that tea production in the area is so new that there are no traditions to follow. Some might see that as negative, but I see it as a great example of innovation. The result is some really crazy and fun tea coming out of the village. If every tea village continued expirimenting and trying to improve, it would be hard to imagine what we would get. Another example of innovation is with pu’er tea, which has increased in quality immensely in the last 50 years due to higher demand and competition from dishonest merchants. The honest farmers have had to push what they do to a new level to stay on top.

Chad

That makes sense, but it disagrees with everyone else who says increased demand has had the opposite effect on quality.

Nathaniel Gruber

I think Pu’er production is interesting in that it is something that has pushed people to master their art more as time goes on. People are able to distinguish between the best stuff and an impostor. A really high quality Sheng pu’er from 40 years ago will not be nearly as good as a really high quality Sheng pu’er from 2005 being drunk in 2045. This is because of innovation and people understanding the tea more today than they did in the past.

David and I have seen the same to be true with really great yixing tea pots. Though many people get upset to hear us say it, it is true that the best crafted tea pots from today are of much higher craftsmanship than most of what was made 80 years ago. We have discussed this with one of David’s tea pots, which is an absolute work of art with a great story behind it (not to mention extremely expensive). This particular tea pot is from the beginning of the 20th century. It is beautiful and great, but the craftsmanship cannot compare to a few of his newer tea pots. Sometimes the fact that something is older doesn’t necessarily make it supreme.

To sum up: it’s true that there are people taking advantage of increased demand and producing lower quality tea and tea pots. But, it’s even more true that the true artists of tea and tea culture are still evolving, continually bringing about newer and better techniques and practices, all of which we are lucky enough to have people like David that can bring them in to the country for all of us.

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98
293 tasting notes

The aroma coming out of the Yixing was very inviting. I am a lover of Dragon Well. This is a beautiful version of that style. I will have to do another side by side tasting. I have the Upton Superfine as the challenger. The tea is very fresh. I am truly loving what Verdant has to offer and I would recommend them without hesitation….

Charles Thomas Draper

I must add that after watching Verdants videos on YouTube I am very green in the art of brewing. This tea will be revisited later today. I now understand that the Yixing is for darker teas. I know many purists may scoff at my coldbrewing in the Mason jar but it has yielded flavors that I consider to be the true essence of that leaf.

David Duckler

This is the beauty of tea. There is no right and absolute way to brew it. My friends in Laoshan village just take a handful of leaves and put them in a glass tumbler, pour boiling water over the top and sip on it throughout th eday, periodically refilling. My friends in Hangzhou are more delicate, pouring between two glass pitchers, or brewing in a gaiwan. Some schools of tea claim that you should fill your vessel up completely with tea leaves for an intensely potent brew, while others use only a few teaspoons. I think tea really encourages play and experimentation. Right now I am working on a guide of every brewing technique I picked up in China for people to experiment with. Each technique comes wit ha story of the person who passed it on to me. Hopefully I will have time to finish that in the next week. I am going to try your Mason jar technique when my autumn Tieguanyin comes in. I have had pretty positive results with cold brewing, and much prefer it for iced tea than doing a hot steeping and pouring over ice. Isn’t it wonderful how many diverse experiences one can get out of leaves?

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93
300 tasting notes

Oh goodness, I feel so grateful to be sipping this tea this morning. The last two days I thought perhaps I had a sinus/ear infection and while I’m still a bit foggy this morning, my throat isn’t sore and my tongue feels primed and ready. The dried leaves smell decadent and that’s exactly the word I would use to describe the taste as well. It’s amazing that such a short steep can yield such a luxurious experience. There is sweetness yes and mild veg and nut, but more than anything it’s the mouthfeel on this that blows me away. Oh the creamyness it coats the roof of my mouth with, swoon. And I’m only on the first steep.

In searching for this page (Steepster was being slow to load) I came across I believe LiberTeas’s review of this Spring’s Laoshan Green, where she makes the comparison to fresh milk from grass fed cows on a small family dairy farm, and that really resonates with me on this one as well. I also definitely get the comparison to Gyokuro. I got six steeps out of this and I’m sure I could have done more if I hadn’t switched to pu’erh after dinner, very respectable for a green.

The first three were my favorite with the mouthfeel being the smoothest on the first and the second two being the most flavorful. The first sip of the second steep literally made me sip up straight and take notice, then mellowed itself out. The third started off mellow but built upon itself all the way to the bottom of the cup. Will have to try this grandpa style (leaving the leafs in the glass and sipping) can anyone recommend a temperature for that?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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94
20 tasting notes

After trying the powerhouse that is Laoshan Green Autumn, this one does it more sneakily.. You have to be a little more quiet, a little more attentive, but the serenity is there. Between salaried work and a 14 month old, those quiet times are fleeting but this cup is great company!

EDIT After trying several others and gaining even just a small amount of perspective, it doesn’t seem fair to Verdant not to rate this one as it really is worth your consideration!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

I’ll be quiet and not wake the baby. Oh such a sweet picture of you two! I’m so glad to see that the first two tea’s you have listed are not Celestial Seasoning bagged tea’s (considering where we both live). I love Verdant Tea! Today I received the first shipments in the Country of 2 of the newest tea’s and will have to review them (tremble, tremble)…which is a privilege. We’re fortunate to live in an area with quite a few good tea houses, classes and a tea festival also. Looking forward to your reviews. Let me know if you want any tea samples!

Bonnie

I’ll send you a PM (that’s a personal message…if you have never had one..look up top for a flag when my note to you is done it will appear there and click on it)

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53 tasting notes

Last of this. Sadness. Just a quick note to myself that this is wonderful and I should totally order more (but it’s going to take many, many months of careful budgeting before I can place the massive order to Verdant Tea that I really want…)

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61
266 tasting notes

Went with the “traditional” brewing instructions on the package.

First steep, 5 sec: This is very light and sweet in the roof of the mouth. You can tell your sipping a green, but it is subtle, soft on the tongue.

Second steep, 10 sec: A very light bitterness is coming through on the middle of the tongue… not unpleasant, just a touch. It still has that light sweetness. It makes the swallow and finish refreshing.

Third steep, 15 sec: Bitterness is gone. It’s now a mildly grassy sip.

Fourth steep, 20 sec: The green is a bit stronger now and there’s a definite astringency there.

Over-all? A good tea, but not a favorite for me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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89
7 tasting notes

First smell after brewing this tea, it’s a very pale yellow/ green color and it smells very earthy like grass and artichokes. The taste is very smooth, the mouth feel is very nice. Tastes sweet and just like artichokes to me with a bit of an acidic aftertaste.

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

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68
17 tasting notes

I lovingly refer to this as “fake Dragonwell”, which pisses David off to no end. :-P It’s far greener than a normal Dragonwell; I find that they are usually nutty and subtly bitter. This is very green and refreshing…I even drink it iced! (Normally iced green tea just tastes like grass to me…yuck.) It’s almost a “cool” flavor, even drunk hot. It still has some distinctive brothiness like other Dragonwell styles; very thick mouthfeel. But it leaves a much cleaner sensation.

Spoonvonstup

I’m curious to learn more about how you use Steepster’s raiting system. Your tasting note describes all positive things, yet the rating is quite low. Could you describe more about this tea that you didn’t like? What do you look for in a green tea that would get it a rating in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? Which teas are these?

Ian Krouth

This is a better version of a tea that I don’t normally like…green tea isn’t my style, so to speak. So on the grand scheme of things, all teas included, this is a 68. If I were rating only green teas, this would probably be an 80 or 85.

Basically this rating number means “Something I drink voluntarily and happily, but don’t own or have more than once or twice a week.”

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86
11 tasting notes

I am impressed by the size and the beautiful appearance of the dry leaves. The nose (both of the dry and wet leaves) isn’t particularly strong, but the liquid is flavorful (though I wish it were a little bolder).

The second steeping however is like a dry red wine, in that your mouth actually feels dry after each sip. In order to quench my thirst I found myself drinking the second steeping faster…which obviously doesn’t work when each sip gives that feeling.

All in all, it is a nice tea, though it lacks a wow factor.

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