West Lake Dragonwell Longjing from Teasenz to be exact. Dragonwell (or Lung Ching, Longjing) is a pan-fired green tea from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in China has the honor of being one of the Ten Great Chinese Teas. There are several legends about this illustrious tea floating around, but my favorite involves a dragon that lived in the well that was named after it, this dragon was in charge of the local weather and so the locals prayed for rain at this well. If you want even more info on this legendary tea, Teasenz website has lots of it, including how to say it in other languages (which I find just awesome!!). Now that I have gotten the dragons out of the way it is time to talk about the aroma of these beautiful leaves. I have a confession, the flattened leaves of Longjing have long since been one of my favorites, they are just so pretty. The aroma of the leaves is very rich and vegetal, like asparagus or even green bean casserole. There is also a hint of chestnut, an even smaller hint of pepper, and sweetness as an afterthought. This tea smells delicious and is making me more than a little hungry.
Today I decided to brew my tea in my glass tea pot so I could really watch the leaves steep. The aroma is still very green and fresh with a delightful peppery undertone. I am really loving the pepper mixed with the vegetal aroma, it is wonderful and makes me wish I could capture smells along with pictures. The aroma of the liquid has more or a chestnut sweetness than the leaves and it is also very pleasant.
After pouring my tea and having a sip I can certainly say that it was well worth the wait for steeping. The taste is very smooth and mild, I am amazed how clean it tastes very evocative of fresh rain water. This tea has absolutely no bitterness, just vegetal and green with a mix of chestnut. The aftertaste is slightly nutty and sweet, time for a second steep?
The second steep is much milder and tastes even more milder. The notes of chestnut, asparagus, and sweetness is still there but much fainter. I have to admit this steep just feels cleansing, like it is washing out all the funk from my recent illnesses. The vegetal aftertaste ends the tea on a spring time note. I recommend this tea for a warm day when you just want to relax with a cup of tea and watch the clouds roll by.
Blog post and photos here: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/teasenz-west-lake-dragonwell-longjing.html