Choosing the Best Dragon Well Tea

by Brooke Davis April 21, 2016

Choosing the Best Dragon Well Tea

Dragon Well tea, also known as Longjing tea, is a delicious variety of roasted green tea which is produced in West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province of China and is widely known for it's high quality, which has earned it the title of “China Famous Tea”.

China has a very unique and interesting tea culture that has been around for thousands of years, but even modern day China has it's own unique tea drinking rituals and culture.   One of the teas enjoyed the most by the Chinese is Dragon Well green tea as well as a variety of other delicious green teas.

Although in China, drinking green tea has been a tradition for years, it is only recently that the Western world has discovered this delight as well.  It provides many anti-oxidants and other health benefits, which is why many people drink Longjing Tea, in order to retain the health benefits of green tea.

Green tea has been shown to help with weight loss, protection against toxins, relaxation, anti-agingbenefits and many other reported health benefits.

However, due to different ways of picking and processing it, not all green teas are alike.  There are many different classifications of green tea, depending on which leaves were picked, where they were picked and when they were picked along with how they were processed into the final product that you drink.  Here are several ways green teas are classified so that you can tell the difference between a quality Dragon Well and a lower quality green tea.

Growing Regions

The Area Where The Tea Is Grown

Most tea plantations in the world, when looking at a globe, are located between the coordinates of 49°N and 33°S, and the larger group of them is between 6°N and 22°N.

China is One of the Best Places for Growing Tea

Dragon Well green tea, which is located in the golden district 30°N in china, is grown in a suitable climate for the most optimal green tea, kindly sunlight and precipitation. Its trees which are grown high in the mountains are of much higher quality than the trees which are grown at lower levels.

The Differences Between Dragon Well

The Dry Dragon Well Tea Leaves Before Brewing:

In Dragon Well green teas, the appearance of the dry leaf is smooth, flat and spear-like.   Like Grade A below (shown on the far left), the color of the dry leaf is yellow-green with a straight flat body, and one leaf and bud which are well-proportioned.   It has a light, delicate grassy fragrance and is smooth to the touch.

The Grade B (shown in middle) is called Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea, which also has a green color, but the color is a much deeper green with a much more intense fragrance and flavor.   It has a very elegant flavor to it.

The leaf of Grade C (shown on the far right) is much darker and the leaves are tight and heavy.  It smells very mild and light but does not keep well in storage for as long as the other grades.

Grade A

Differences when brewing Dragon Well Tea

Flavor and Aroma

With Grade A Longjing tea, it presents a delicate and aromatic fragrance that is smooth and long lasting and similar to that of a freshly plucked green bean. It tastes very fresh, smooth and mellow with a hint of natural sweetness.

In the Grade B Longjing tea, the leaves will brew up to a bright green liquor with a mellow fresh taste that has no sharpness to it. It is smooth and delicious.

Grade C Longjing tea will not store for very long before going bitter. However, if brewed while still fresh it has a very mild flavor similar to the Grade B Dragon Well, but the leaves brew up a much more deeply green color than the other two grades.

The Brewed Tea Leaves and Buds

You can also tell the difference between different grades of Dragon Well green tea by simply observing the brewed tea leaves.  You can see that the Grade A Dragon Well on the far left is still very brightly colored, even after brewing.  The other two grades are more of a dark green color.

Additionally, the Grade A Dragon Well is always tender, slight and thin leaves with a very light appearance while the other grades look thicker and the leaves appear broader.

Grade A

The Appearance of Grade A Dragon Well Tea

The Fragrance of the Brewed Dragon Well

To properly brew Dragon Well, add approximately 3 grams of tea in your teapot and brew with hot, purified water for about about 1 minutes.

Dry Dragon Well Leaf

 

Being brewed dragon well tea

Then pouring your tea into your cup, observe the brewed tea, it will be light and delicate with a lightly floral fragrance that lingers. Even when the tea begins to cool, the lightly grassy floral fragrance remains.  

Being brewed dragon well tea

 

The Color of the Brewed Dragon Well

Observe carefully the color of the brewed tea liquor. A high-quality Dragon Well has a tender green, clear and bright color, with a touch of yellow. The darker the liquor is colored, the lower the quality of it.

 

brewing longjing tea with glass

The Flavor of the Brewed Dragon Well Tea

The best way to distinguish a nice, high quality Dragon Well is by it's flavor. It is just as aromatic, smooth and mellow to taste as it's aroma leads us to believe. A high quality Dragon Well will always be soft and mellow flavored, never grassy or harsh. The higher quality Dragon Well often have a slight floral note in their undertones with very green and smooth overtones.

Finally, you can always observe the tea as it is brewing to notice the color, flavor and depth of the more subtle notes in a fine Dragon Well. A fine Dragon Well will be light and spear-like with mellow and slightly floral notes, while the lower grades of Dragon Well brew up darker with sharper notes to them.

A better well done tea need a better brewing method. Once you have a higher grade Dragon well, the way of the brewing metod has effects on it. You can follow our article Brewing Chinese Top Grade Dragon Well Green Tea, it will give you some ideas about this.




Brooke Davis
Brooke Davis

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