Pre-Qingming Longjing Green Tea｜明前龍井
Tasting notes: Nutty, grassy, mung bean
Origin: Meijiawu, Hangzhou, China
Cultivar: 群體種 Qunti Zhong (Old Tree)
Longjing (Dragonwell) tea is China’s most famous tea. Grown in the idyllic West Lake area of Hangzhou, this tea has been the muse of poets, philosophers, monks and emperors for centuries.
Why we love it:
- It has a roast chestnut aroma, a fresh grassy flavour and - even though it tastes savoury - the aftertaste comes back sweet (回甘).
- Its nutty aroma comes from the kill-green process that stops oxidation, when the Tea Master pan-fires the leaves on a hot wok. He presses the leaves flat against the sides of the wok by hand, giving them a flat shape.
- It's the real deal. Authentic Longjing must come from one of 5 certified areas, be made from one of 3 cultivars and be harvested in spring. This batch ticks all those boxes.
- It's made from the first spring harvest of the year - the most coveted harvest because the new leaves are extra soft and plump, yielding a tea that tastes delicate and smooth.
- It comes from the certified Meijiawu area - a village with 600 years of history.
- It is made from the 群體種 Qunti Zhong cultivar- - an older plant that has naturally reproduced over time through survival of the fittest. Its leaves are not as "pretty" as the commercially propagated cultivar, but it yields more layered flavours.
It's difficult to source authentic Longjing because the supply is limited and the demand is huge. In fact, it is estimated that 90% of Longjing on the market is not authentic. So we are very lucky to have sourced this batch, especially this year, as the harvest was even smaller due to bad weather, driving up the price.
Supply is limited so grab it while you can!
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