After a busy Monday, I wanted a nice green tea with its lower caffeine and its characteristic buttery taste. Knowing that Dragon Well (Lung Ching) has a reputation for being the champagne of Chinese green teas and that it’s known as being a fairly light tea, I thought that this was the ideal time for me to try this tea.

The dry leaf is long and pretty and fairly flat. It’s green but not the neon green of some Japanese greens. It smells a but nutty with hints at complexity that will arise with steeping. Brewed at approximately 175 degrees, the results are very pleasing. The brew is mid-yellow in color and the aroma is both vegetal and nutty. It is not particularly sweet on its own but I will use some sugar crystals when I’m half way done.

The tea is a great drink unfolding layers of nuttiness and some vegetation—not so much that you can call it a “spinach” or an “artichoke” tea but enough so that the vegetal taste plays a strong second fiddle to the primary taste of roasted or toasted nuts—I’d like to say roasted walnuts more than other kinds of nuts. It’s very satisfying and would make a great accompaniment to a meal or as an after-dinner tea. It would also be a great afternoon tea.

SECOND infusion: This Dragon Well has not lost anything but has gained perhaps more of a nutty focus. I added a few sugar crystals and the added sweetness was nice. There were not enough crystals to take away from the tea’s essential flavor. I would serve this to myself without the sugar but would offer some sugar to guests.

The rich toasty nuttiness and the deep flavor make this tea well-worth trying. I think it will become a staple at my house.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

“rich toasty nuttiness”…yummy!

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“rich toasty nuttiness”…yummy!

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


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