DRAGONWELL - Lung Ching Grade #2
Princess of Green Tea
Country of Origin: China
Region: Zhejiang Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Lung Ching Grade 2
Altitude: 2500 ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Steamed green tea and a special 10 part handmade process
Cup Characteristics: Full bodied tending astringent (brisk) with a slight heady bouquet. Full green tea flavor.
Infusion: Bright and green
Ingredients: Luxury green tea
Lung Ching Tea - also known as Dragonwell is produced by hand through a 10-part process. The side of West Lake in Zhejiang Province grows the tea used to produce Dragonwell. Dragonwell is distinguished by its beautiful shape, emerald colour, scented smell and tending sweet floral character.
In the People’s Republic of China, mists and fog often compensate of insufficient rainfall, at the same time cloaking the gardens in secrecy. Here tea is produced according to ancient time-tested methods and workers perform all tasks by hand, just like their ancestors. The tealeaves that become Dragonwell (a.k.a. Lung Ching) are plucked before the Clear Light Festival or at the least before the spring rains have fallen. The choicest come from a part of the mountain called Lion’s Peak, where plucking takes place before each tender shoot has more than one leaf.
Legend has it that in 250 AD a Taoist monk affirmed that there must be a dragon lurking in a certain spring not far from Hangchow. The monk implored the well dragon to come to the rescue of the poor farmers suffering a crippling drought. Instantly, the clouds came rushing in from every side and poured forth a timely rain. One account of this, an old temple adjoining the spring is known as Dragon’s Well Monastery, and this tea derives its name from the same legend.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F or 90°C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed ‘straight-up’.
Iced tea-brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]