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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review:’s Dragonwell Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

The Subject:  Dragonwell [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:180° F
Steeping time:1-3 mins. (diff for each infusion)
Tea type:Green
Aroma, dry leaves:  Sweet, green smell

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —1 min.
Aroma, plain —  Seafood-ish, green planty
Taste, plain —Grassy, light, smooth, hint of seafoodness
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —1½ mins.
Aroma, plain —  More sweetly grassy, almost floral
Taste, plain —More grassy, light, less smooth
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —2 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Lighter, grassy
Taste, plain —First sip like buttered popcorn, then grassy
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green

This tea has several aliases: “Dragon Well,” “Long Jing,” “Longjing” or “Lung Ching.” No matter what you call it, this version of the prized Chinese green tea lives up to its reputation. Hubby and I did 3 infusions, each a true demonstration of the tea worker’s art, although our assessment of the flavor and aroma was not quite the same as the “official description on the vendor’s site:

The infusion has a full, soft mouth feel and a complex, nutty flavor that’s easy to enjoy again and again. Its distinctively sweet, clean, roasty finish appeals to a range of tea drinkers.

We detected that full, soft feel in our mouths, and the taste was certainly complex but did not come across as nutty, more as grassy/seafood-ish. Hubby describes the seafood part as just the hint you get when you walk by a seafood seller in an open-air market, not at all overwhelming. Again, you can order one of the sample sizes that Nav, the company owner, offers, and do some taste trials.

One look at the tea leaves before and after steeping shows the high quality of this tea, with mainly that most highly sought two-leaves-and-a-bud combo, which you can even see in the dry, flat leaves:

The steeping directions on the label agree with what’s on the vendor’s site:

A splendid, delicate, and beautifully colored green tea deserves to be served in a most precious and delicate glass teacup. Having tried 13 of’s teas by now and having found all but one to be warranting our top rating of 5 teapots, we really think that Nav has truly raised the bar on teas available online through smaller operations (and possibly thru any online vendor).

Their packaging of these sample sizes were rather interesting.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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