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Longjing/Dragon Well - 30g

  • Variety: Green
  • Origin: Meijiawu, Longjing Village, Zhejiang, China
  • Farmer: Xu Shen Sen
  • Trees: 80-100 year old traditional bushes
  • Harvest: 2nd Flush, April 2016
  • Taste: savoury, chestnuts, reed freshness, hint of salt
  • Pairings: white fish, hard cheeses, almonds
  • Brewing: 75-80˚, 3g (2 tsp) per 200 ml, 35 sec, 4-5 infusions. Increase subsequent infusion times to taste.
  • Storage: airtight in the freezer

 

 

Preparation

Simple

Local Xihu people drink Longjing in a tall tumbler glass. Simply add 2 healthy pinches of Longjing to the bottom of your glass and fill with spring or filtered water at 75°- 80° or 2 minutes off the boil. Wait 1 minute and drink. Refill your cup 2-4 times.

 

Gaiwan / Artisan Press / Yixing or Glass Tea Pot

Warm and rinse your vessel and cups with boiled water. Place two teaspoons or 3g of tea into your vessel; a simple rule of thumb is that the leaves should generously cover the bottom. Add spring or filtered water at 75°- 80° or 2 minutes off the boil. Infuse 35 seconds and pour into your cup(s). Remember to re-infuse 3-4 times and enjoy the evolution of taste as the leaves release their nutrients.

 

Story 

This 2nd flush Longjing has been meticulously handcrafted by Master Xu on his farm in the authentic Long Jing village of Meijiawu, which is located in the protected West Lake area. Master Xu has been making tea for 50 years and his family’s tea linage goes back over 300 years to the early Qing Dynasty. Master Xu believes that tea is for health – ‘This is my philosophy, I learned from life that tea is medicine.’ Growing up on the mountain, tea has always been deeply engrained in his and his family’s life.

 

Our introduction to Master Xu came through a friend Andrew Nugent-Head of the Association for Traditional Studies. Andrew lived and worked with his family, as a well-respected Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, in the Meijiwu Village for 4 years. It was through conversations with Andrew and Master Xu that we were able to gather an informed view of the historical and current tea cultivation in the Xihu (West Lake) region. There are two main varieties of Longjing bushes, 'traditional' and '43'. Traditional bushes (from which our tea comes) are the original ones. They are aged approximately 60 to 100 years, have deep nutrient absorbing roots, and fewer leaves resulting in a rich flavour. The Longjing 43 bushes were developed in the 1960s by the Centre for Tea Research at the Agricultural Institute of China. They are hardy, have shallow roots, and are popular among farmers because they are harvestable 7-10 days before the traditional variety. This is important to farmers because Longjing that is harvested before Qingming (ancestor tomb sweeping festival) generates a much higher income. This has driven a lot of farmers to pull out traditional bushes to plant 43.

 

Authenticity is key in current Longjing sourcing. The international popularity, narrow time frame for harvest, and limited land area has given rise to a  wave of ‘fake’ Longjings which are produced all over China, India, Nepal and Taiwan. Demand for these teas is growing both in the West and in China due to its newly affluent domestic middle class. There has been a renaissance among adult Chinese who are now discovering the scope of China's famous teas and the depths of their unique tea culture.

 

Many farmers will tell you that their Longjing is organic – a key point here is that the regional idea of 'organic' is not organic. A term we found that works is ‘seasonal organic’ which means that the bushes are only sprayed once a year in May after the final harvest and the bushes have been cut back.

 

The Xihu (West Lake) region has been famous for tea production as well as being home to monks, artists, intelligentsia and Emperors for centuries. Lonjing’s popularity was established when the Qing Emperor Qian Long (1736-1795) visited the area and was so inspired by the tea that he wrote poetry there and kept 18 bushes for his royal use, ranking them as Tribute Tea Trees.

 

Legend holds that Longjing was named after a rain dragon that dwelled in an old temple well. People came to pray to the dragon for rain as early as Wu of Three Kingdoms (221-280).

 

SKU: 7JST-003


Availability: In stock

£10.53 VAT Exempt

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