Mrs. Li's 1st Picking Shi Feng Dragonwell

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves
Fruity, Nutty, Chestnut, Honey, Melon, Asparagus, Bamboo, Corn Husk, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Peas, Straw, Flowers, Grass
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Edit tea info Last updated by CHAroma
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 5 g 9 oz / 255 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

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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10 Tasting Notes

3274 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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2189 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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599 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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2 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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330 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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635 tasting notes

I bought this tea in February 2016. I hope this is the right place on Steepster to record this note. My package says “Shi Feng Longjing Green Tea 1st Picking.” I usually brew dragonwell gongfu style with my gaiwan. But I decided to try the open pitcher method that Verdant made a video about. This is the first time I’m using my new glass pitcher and this lovely flower cup (see pictures below).

The pitcher brew method makes for a much stronger cup of tea. I’m not really sure how long I steeped it since the leaves were always in the water. I found this method was very difficult to keep the leaves out of the cup when I poured from the pitcher. I tried using a strainer but it was hard to pick the leaves out of it afterwards. Then I tried pouring really slowly but that only kind of worked. Finally, I used a wooden spatula to strain the tea as I poured. This seemed to work best but the leaves would stick to the sides of the pitcher and then I’d have to poke them back down. All in all, I think I probably prefer using a gaiwan.

The tea itself is good. I’m sure it would have been better back in February, as it’s now May. It’s Mother’s Day, in fact! I’ve been absent from Steepster for a long time because I am now myself a mother since January 2015. Babies are a handful. I don’t have much time to myself these days and certainly no time whatsoever to enjoy tea. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this tea in particular. It’s buttery and a tad bitter. My mind is on other things.

On April 26th, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. It was a total shock. She had no symptoms for years. She ended up in the hospital with kidney failure. She had two different surgeries and her kidney function is slowly improving. I have no idea how many Mother’s Days I’ll have left with her. It’s a nightmare. You’re never prepared for this kind of news. I suppose no matter what the circumstances, we would have been caught off guard.
It’s such a hard thing…there are no words.

I hope and pray that she has many years left. There’s really no way to know.

The tea:

Me and my baby:

Me, my mom, and my daughter (This was taken exactly one year – to the day – before she was diagnosed.):

175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

I am so sorry about your mom. :(

And on a happier note, look at how much your daughter has grown!

Evol Ving Ness

I am sorry about your mom. I can’t even imagine. :(


I’m sorry! Hope both you and your mom had a lovely Mother’s Day. I just read Roswell Strange’s tasting note above this one for 52Teas Stone Fruit and remembered you had sent me some years ago. I have an uncanny memory for which Steepsterers sent me which teas. :D


I’m so sorry about your mom. The pictures of your family are lovely!


So sorry to hear about your mom…hoping she pulls through!

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1113 tasting notes

Sad Sample Sipdown! Thanks again Terri!

I’m definitely going to order some first flush dragonwell next spring. Not sure from where yet but the stuff is DEELISH! I’m ambivalent about regular dragonwell though. It’s not bad but doesn’t thrill me like this really young stuff does.

On an unrelated note- I think I’m going to make some homemade matcha and frozen yogurt popsicles this weekend. Doesn’t that sound fab? Oohh maybe I’ll throw in some avocado too…

Cameron B.

Maybe with a little bit of mint or lemon too? :D


OoooOoooh! That sounds good. I’ve also got some rhubarb I need to use. Might cook some down into a compote and make ice pops out of that at some point :)

Cameron B.

Strawberry frozen yogurt with rhubarb swirl! ;)

Terri HarpLady

Glad you like the tea! I’m jealous about the pop cycles!


That could be good. In Ecuador a store near me used to make a strawberry and Avacado shake that was amazingly good.

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1355 tasting notes

I’m on my third cup of this tea using the traditional Long Jing method of steeping the leaves directly in your glass. I used 4g of leaves with water roughly 75C to the volume of 350ml/12oz.

It is the best Dragonwell I have ever tasted. On my first sips my mouth was met with corn husk, perfumed flowers, sweet grass and melon which has continued into my third cup and with little to no dryness. It’s light and sweet but also buttery and as a whole it lingers in my mouth as if it’s giving my tongue a hug. There is a very slight astringency but it tastes more mineral than anything else and it adds to the flavour.

I highly recommend trying the cup steeping method, it’s very easy and it gets the most flavour out of the leaves.
This method works well (though she is using less leaf than is recommended by Verdant) :

Flavors: Corn Husk, Flowers, Grass, Melon

170 °F / 76 °C 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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