To be honest, I was not a fan of Longjing (A.K.A. Dragonwell) for quite some time. I knew what the profile was supposed to be and it seems like none of the samples we were sent for the store hit the mark. Then one day, while seeking out great tea and vendors, someone told me about a man whose wife was raised in China and who had some of the best teas they had ever tasted.
After taking the tip and when speaking with this small vendor, he mentioned he had a great Dragonwell. I’d tried so long to find one I liked enough to bring in that I told him not to bother sending a sample of that because I just couldn’t seem to find one good enough to present to our customers. He told me I really had to try his Dragonwell, that his wife was Chinese and they knew where to find the best teas on their buying trips and that he himself drank it every single day and it was the best. Well, okay then.
Amazed may be the best word to describe the experience when I tasted the sample. It was creamy, almost sweet. It makes me smile, which is the acid test of what comes in and what doesn’t. Others had been bitter or on the verge, the leaves were often brownish and stale-looking. This tea was fresh, bright, and gave several really good infusions. The brewing process in this article was one I have not tried. We recommend low-temperature water and a 2-minutes steep, but never as low as given in this writer’s experience. If it works, I’m all for it.
Green teas are usually the new tea drinker’s hardest to ‘like’. And I truly believe that there are three reasons for that: the tea is bad, the water is too hot and the steep is too long. When these things are corrected (and when you include great filtered water), the difference between a cup of atrocious, bitter green tea and delicious green tea will be experienced.
It’s good to see people who aren’t in the tea business writing about tea. @LaJollaMom is a well-known travel and lifestyle blogger and it’s more proof to me that tea is gaining interest and attention from people in all walks of life. If you haven’t tried Longjing/Dragonwell, don’t give up if the first one–or one hundred–you try don’t meet your expectations. Keep looking until you find the one that makes you smile.