Mark Ross said

Dragonwell/Longjing Brewing Question

Hi, everyone.
I recently received a generous amount of tea for my birthday, including an incredible Dragonwell/Longjing. I was looking around the Verdant Tea website to see how they recommended brewing Dragonwell (the Dragonwell I got wasn’t from Verdant, but I always enjoy reading their steeping instructions), and the preferred method of cup brewing confused me a bit.

It said to pour the water, etc., but the next instruction is what threw me: “Begin sipping immediately, blowing the leaves out of the way. Refill with water when the cup gets down to 1/3. Never allow the leaves to sit wet exposed to the air by keeping your glass full.”

Now, this seems to me to imply that it’s all right to let the leaves stay in the cup. However, this doesn’t seem right at all for a tea that tastes delicious after 30 seconds of brewing. Am I misreading this? If not, has anyone tried brewing it this way? Does it result in a tea that’s not bitter and oversteeped? If this is an actual way of brewing that leads to good results, I’d love to try it—but I am a bit skeptical.

15 Replies

Hi, Mark!
When I’ve tried it this way, it’s really delicious. You just keep refilling your glass until it doesn’t taste like tea anymore (which for me, took quite some time)…. However, if you like it a different way, drink it however suits you!
The one I had was the Dragonwell from Verdant, so I’m not an expert at how they vary, as far as bitterness goes…I’m sure people here will be able to answer that better. :)
ETA: I loved it because I could make a tea pot of this, as well, and just keep refilling the teapot (my husband and daughter were drinking it with me)… it never got bitter. :)

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This is the way that I have heard they drink Dragonwell in China although I haven’t yet tried it that way.

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I had a couple of samples of Verdant Dragonwell and tried it “bothways” – once using a normal tea brewing method (lots of tea, short steeps etc) and once using the method Verdant (and Mrs Li herself, in her little video appearance) suggest.

Both were great! But, tbh, I really enjoy drinking Dragonwell (and other, similar, “light” green teas) the leaf-in-cup method! Like DeliriumsFrogs said, it never gets bitter (providing you use cool water and don’t overleaf) and the cup is just delicious (and basically infinite!) :D

Maybe try it like this, at least once, and see if it’s too your liking? You don’t have to use too much tea, so if it’s not for you, you shouldn’t have lost anything (it really shouldn’t ruin the tea, if the water isn’t too hot :-) ).

Nattie said

Sasha-sha-sha-sha! Do you drink flavoured dragonwells? You’re getting another package from me next month (:

Awh, you’re so kind!! :D I’ve never tried a flavoured dragonwell, but I’m deffo intrigued :D I have some nice things myself now, too, so I might be able to arrange a little return package (and deffo a more generous one than my last one hahaha)!

Nattie said

Alrighty then, I will add some in :D ooh sounds intriguing :P I’m putting a little pile together for you atm so let me know if I have anything you wanna try. (:

That Blue Sky Blend is sooo yummy, by the way! :D

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Mark Ross said

Wow—I never would have guessed! Looks like I’ll be trying this tomorrow—the water cooler at work has water that’s at a perfect temperature for more delicate green teas, the tea is high quality from a local supplier (and perhaps the best green tea I’ve ever had), and our boss gets the water from a spring near his house, so it should be delicious!

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Spring water heated to the perfect temp for Dragonwell all day!? I am so jealous… lol What an awesome setup!

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Mark Ross said

Yeah, it’s pretty fantastic—and it’s Colorado spring water, too!
One more thing: if there’s a prolonged period of time when I don’t want to drink the tea (say, a few hours around midday), should I drink all the liquid? Or leave that 1/3 in there? I imagine I’d drain the cup—but then, I never imagined that I would be drinking tea with the leaves still in the cup!

+1 for Colorado Spring water! Too bad i’ve got nothing like that in Denver…
What I have found with leaving Grampa Style brewed leaf out for awhile, is that as long as the leaves are covered, but not floating, you should be good. Keeps you from having to ‘wake up’ the tea again.

Mark Ross said

Even the tap water in Denver isn’t too bad, though (my family lived in the Denver Metro Area for a while). The tap water’s better down here in the Springs, but I still filter it (because I can still taste a difference).

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mrmopar said

Lucky Devil you are…..

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Mark Ross said

So, I tried it the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised—it’s really delicious! I think the water may be a touch too hot, as the end of the first steep was a little bitter. However, it was fine in all subsequent steeps (probably due in part to the cooler liquid that was still covering the leaves when I resteeped). So of course, the water cooler is now empty…sigh. But still. When it gets refilled, this will definitely become my number one way to drink tea at work.

Wonderful! I’m so glad it worked out :)

As so many great people have mentioned here, the biggest part of the trick is water temperature. If the water cooler is a little too hot to start with, you can also always add the water to your cup first, and then sprinkle the leaves on top after a little while. The exposure to the air and the contact with your cool glass will cool the water down.

The other trick with Dragonwell is not to drain your cup entirely – to let the leaves remain covered with just a little bit of water. Perhaps it’s the flat pressing, but the leaves don’t really like exposure to the air once they’ve been steeped. A little bit of water will protect them.

If you want the expert word, you can check out Mrs. Li’s brewing advice! Her big two points: use the right temperature water, and don’t cover your brewing vessel. These are linked – covering your vessel makes for a hotter brew. As you’ll see when you watch, the classic Dragonwell style of brewing is very relaxed. It’s about brewing a cup of tea you enjoy, and all of the tips and rules are there to help you do just that.

http://verdanttea.com/tv/how-to-brew-shi-feng-dragonwell-green-tea/

PS: What a great set up at work! +10000 Spring Water :) When we moved into our new office space, getting spring water deliveries set up was one of our first priorities.

I’m glad it turned out to your liking! :D

I returned to work, this week, and felt sufficiently inspired by this thread that I’ve basically just been drinking green teas, made just like this. It’s so convenient to just be able to walk up to the boiler-tap and top up my flask!

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