This has often been referred to as “China’s favourite tea.” Don’t hold me to that as a secure mantel, I’m sure there are competitors, but this is a cultural beauty and true contender for such a title.
Of the eighteen tea growing regions and provinces in China, this tea must be created in the Zhejiang province in a place called Hang zhou. The tea is actually region protected, a new development as of this decade. It enjoys such a prestigious reputation that many faux Long Jing teas – NOT from the dragonwell village – had begun to enter the arena, hence making origin denomination necessary. This can be likened to an Appellation, used in Europe to protect the reputation of regionally produced food products such as cheeses. Holographic seals are often used to identify your Long Jing as the real deal on many packagings. In other cases, the best idea is to get your Long Jing from a source you trust.
The particular processing method is what gives the tea its shape. The shape of the leaf is an elegant long and flat, nutty-green scenario. The tea is tended by hand during its heat-sealing in large woks, to prevent further oxidisation (i.e. it turning into a black tea!). The pressing of the leaves by hand, against the side of the pan, will cause the desired shape in the leaf.
Tasting the tea will yield nutty, roasty, toasty and smooth flavours. Buttery, grassy aromas impress and enchant. Delicious. Lingering, with a not un-notable pungency to finish. People searching for a savoury tea will be pleased with a Long Jing.
It takes true mastery of method to create a Long Jing. Find some immediately, and enjoy.
Extra trivia: the Zhejiang provincial government have actually banned construction and development in the tea-growing areas to protect the future of this famous tea.
Coming soon – the legend of dragonwell.
knave of cups x