Mrs. Li's 1st Picking Shi Feng Dragonwell

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves
Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Lettuce, Peas, Bitter, Vegetal, Roasted Nuts, Flowers, Grapes, Green, Melon, Mineral, Rice, Seaweed, Spicy, Sweet, Warm Grass, Fruity, Nutty, Honey, Asparagus, Bamboo, Corn Husk, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Honeydew, Straw, Grass
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Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 g 9 oz / 268 ml

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From Verdant Tea

This Pre-Qingming Dragonwell tea is all about a fine and subtle sweetness, and a long, drawn out aftertaste and crisp texture. This is Mrs. Li’s first picking of the season, selected from her highest-elevation tea plants and carefully hand-finished by her husband. Her true Dragonwell grows on the pure mountain slopes of Shi Feng and draws in sweet mountain spring water.

Many of the buds in this pre-Qing Ming harvest tea are covered in fine downy hair. These are the trichomes (down) of the bud set tea, which have gathered and clumped together during processing. These trichomes are what make this bud set tea so rich, full and creamy!

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15 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

I’m still working my way through last year’s greens & whites, with a commitment to drink one of them every day of the week, with weekends being optional.
This is another TOMC tea from last June.
It brews to a lovely pale apricot, starting out with a light but creamy vanilla texture, & gradually becoming refreshing in a cucumber sort of way, almost like a light salad, LOL.

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2201 tasting notes

This was an unexpected sipdown (105). There were two servings of this left, but I had a somewhat catastrophic first session (long story) that ended up wasting the leaves, but I still wanted this tea so I had a gongfu session with the rest. This tea is so easy to overbrew and get bitter, but when you hit the sweet spot it is amazing. So buttery, nutty, lightly spiced almost? I think it reminds me almost of those cinnamon candy almonds. Amazing. The reserve version of this is probably slightly wasted on me as I am not a connoisseur of dragonwells but it is still very enjoyable.

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771 tasting notes

Considering my packet of this is opened, I’m surprised that I don’t have a tasting note of this on here.

In my new trial of my teas in an additive free way (at least the green and white ones), I chose this one as my first try because it’s so so nice. Made in a Finium brew basket instead of my Breville for a smaller amount of tea.

Drinking this hot, there’s a tiny amount of bitterness that’s still attacking my throat, but the upfront taste is what I expected from this Dragonwell with all the nice vegetable beaniness that I remembered from earlier tries. This tea is old now, from the June 2013 Reserve box but it is still very good. I am trying to drink up my opened greens since I learned recently that they have a much shorter shelf life than my favourite black tea.

This is a very pleasant cup, even without additives, even to me who is a supertaster of bitterness of the highest degree. I am so so so very sensitive to it and there is hardly any here. Amazing. I can see why high quality dragonwells are so highly prized.

It is less yummy when it cools, which is a reminder to drink this one quickly. Second steep was 1.5 minutes and has a stronger and slightly more bitter flavour. I’m going to end this review now, but not stop steeping. I want to get all of this tea gone before I go to bed because I hear it’s not good to keep wet leaves overnight in a brew basket and I just had to clean out a cloud of mold from my Breville the other day from leaving tea in it for too long. Blech.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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1391 tasting notes

I adored this one.

And it’s a belatedly posted sipdown!

#long time ago internet hiatus sipdown

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583 tasting notes

Spring 2019 harvest.

This has been my faithful companion during my morning commute this week. My mornings are pretty hectic as I always seem to be running late to work. I often end up skipping breakfast, but seldom skip tea. Unless I cold brew something the night before, I tend to reach for a no-fuss tea that I can quickly throw in my tumbler and dump hot water on it. But this is more than just a serviceable green tea. It’s a richly vegetal, hearty tea that’s wonderfully fragrant and refreshing.

Dry leaves have a fresh, sweet aroma of watercress and butter lettuce. The tea starts off with a gentle fruitiness, similar to Anji Bai Cha, but nuttier and more assertive. As it steeps, I pick up notes of crisp sugar snap peas and chestnut. The mouthfeel is full, buttery, and complex. There’s an ever so slight bitterness towards the end but nothing overbearing.

I’m pleasantly surprised at how robust this Long Jing is. Usually early picked tea is light and delicate, but this one has that in-your-face green taste that I love. Excellent quality tea all around.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Creamy, Lettuce, Peas

180 °F / 82 °C 2 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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99 tasting notes

I got this in a the Verdant Tea’s monthly subscription in 2016. I’m not a huge fan of green tea, but I’ve never had Dragonwell, so I’m excited! I’m using the full 5 gram sample.

The dry leaves smell amazing—fresh and not too green.

The “instructions,” if you will, say to steep this in a tempered glass, adding water to the tea over the course of the day as yo u drink it. This is the type of setup I’m going for, because I know how much Mrs. Li cares for her Dragonwell and drinking it properly!

The first “steep” smells so good! It has such a strong, toasted nut smell! My water temperature was right at 185 degrees Farenheit, so I have to wait for it to cool to start drinking (even though the insert says to start drinking immediately).

I love steeping my tea in glass teapots so I can see it brew and the water color deepen—so this tall-glass approach is pretty neat.

The insert says to sip without a strainer—so… use your teeth to strain it, or “blow” the leaves away. Sigh. I’m using a spoon like you would to keep the foam in your frothed milk from going in your espresso. #NoSkillz

By the way, this tea is absolutely gorgeous!

First taste impressions: a little astringent, medium roast flavor, slightly bitter (I’ll turn the kettle down 10 degrees)… not too bad. I love the tingly mouthfeel. I’ll sip this down to 1/3 of the water left and add some more…

Second taste impressions: The bitterness and astringency disappeared with the second bit of water, leaving the tea smooth, refreshing, and light. So much love!

Third taste impressions: It continues to be smooth and still has that roasted nut flavor, which is amazing! I love the fact that I can just keep drinking it throughout the day. No hassle, super delicious.

Flavors: Roasted Nuts

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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42 tasting notes

Ordered a sample of this one in my last order and I must say I’m impressed.
I love dragonwell tea for its savory notes. This particular tea is very aromatic and satisfying with its sweet rice notes. The vegetal aromas are also very refreshing and it gives you a nice mineral tingle … that tingly, spicy sweetness in the mouthfeel. Its a light tea but is bursting with aroma and flavor, I am thoroughly enjoying this one. I made the second steeping stronger and it brought out the floral/vegital notes to the forefront. And with the tingly mouth feel I almost taste acidic fruit, like grape or honeydew melon. There is not much bitterness in it, even oversteeped. It a lovely cup, savory, aromatic and fun.

Flavors: Flowers, Grapes, Green, Melon, Mineral, Rice, Seaweed, Spicy, Sweet, Warm Grass

1 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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10 tasting notes

Superb Longjing. Subtle, very subtle without traces of bitter, a subtle sweetness and a very pleasant aftertaste.
We must consider that is a first pick. This mean that it has a very subtle odor and flavor.
Leaves are very small green brownish color. The leaves smells vegetal and sweet.
I brewed in grandpa style. First steep color yellow pale and flavor a little weak. Second steep shows it’s sweetnes, corn flavor, nutty flavor, a little fruity and a long lasting aftertaste. In the thirth steep rthe sweetnes is increasing, it remains a subtle nutty flavor. Fourth and fifth steep shows a subtle sweetness but never lose it´s flavor.
Consider, if you want a more strong flavor to try another longjing, but if you like sweetness and friutness you will like this excellent tea.
The difference with other type of longjing is it´s persistent flavor and longer aftertaste.
I recommend it for a special tea session. It´s not an every day tea.
Congratulations to Mrs. Li from Mexico

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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11 tasting notes

I had both the 2015 and 2016 version of this tea.

I brewed the 2015 as the given parameters. 5g/235ml, 80C water, 30 seconds +10 seconds for each additional brewing. It was very delicate, light, and vegetale. No nuttiness like most high end Longjing that I have had. It had notes of jasmine, elderberry, melon, sencha, and lilacs. I think this tea was better than the 2016. The leaves had more fuzzies, the picking standard was higher, and the liquor more complex. It never got bitter.

I brewed the 2016 grandpa style. I used 2.5g/350ml. I used 80C water and topped up when my glass was 2/3rds full. It was sweet, lightly vegetale, and had a light nuttiness. The tea initially was very green, almost like a sencha. It then became sweet and floral like jasmine or lilacs. Fruits like melon and elderberry danced across my tongue as well. The nuttiness was like that of chesnuts. It lasted around four hours brewing this way and never got bitter.

Flavors: Chestnut, Honey, Melon

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 235 ML

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1026 tasting notes

I have been meaning to post a review of this one for a couple weeks now, but I’m only just now getting around to it. To kick this one off, let me just say that if anyone who reads this is not familiar with Dragonwell tea, then you really need to try it. Dragonwell is one of the most famous teas in all of China. In my opinion, it is also one of the most easily approachable green teas out there. Most Dragonwell teas sold in the West are actually more or less middle-of-the-road in terms of quality. The earlier pickings, however, are more highly valued in China, where they are renowned for their light, delicate aromas and flavors. This tea is an example of a high grade early picked Dragonwell.

To brew this tea, I used my usual method for green teas: a two step Western infusion with steep times of 2 and 3 minutes respectively. The temperature was set at 175 F. I also tried brewing this tea grandpa style. Before I move on to the actual review, allow me to state that this is the sort of green tea that I feel would really be best enjoyed gongfu style. I would have tried it this way as well, but unfortunately I am still waiting on my new gaiwan.

First Infusion: The infused liquor was a very, very pale yellowish green. In terms of color, this was one of the lightest steeps I have ever seen. Mild aromas of grass, straw, sweet corn, and honeydew were present on the nose. In the mouth, I immediately detected notes of sweet corn, freshly cut grass, straw, asparagus, peas, and bamboo underscored by honeydew, cream, and a slight minerality.

Second Infusion: The liquor produced was slightly darker and slightly more yellow than the first infusion. The aroma was very mild. I again detected grass and straw, but this time honeydew, cream, and mineral aromas showed up on the nose. In the mouth, mild notes of grass, peas, straw, asparagus, sweet corn, and bamboo were joined by more pronounced notes of honeydew, cream, and minerals that grew even stronger on the fade.

Okay, I like this tea. I tend to be a bit of a Dragonwell freak, and this one is very good, but I don’t think it’s my favorite. As I have mentioned in at least one previous review, I tend to like my Chinese green teas very vegetal, and this one is a little on the light and sweet side for my taste. Still, this is a very worthy higher end Dragonwell. I just think that I still prefer some of the others that I have tried.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Corn Husk, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Peas, Straw

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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