I have been meaning to post a review of this one for a couple weeks now, but I’m only just now getting around to it. To kick this one off, let me just say that if anyone who reads this is not familiar with Dragonwell tea, then you really need to try it. Dragonwell is one of the most famous teas in all of China. In my opinion, it is also one of the most easily approachable green teas out there. Most Dragonwell teas sold in the West are actually more or less middle-of-the-road in terms of quality. The earlier pickings, however, are more highly valued in China, where they are renowned for their light, delicate aromas and flavors. This tea is an example of a high grade early picked Dragonwell.

To brew this tea, I used my usual method for green teas: a two step Western infusion with steep times of 2 and 3 minutes respectively. The temperature was set at 175 F. I also tried brewing this tea grandpa style. Before I move on to the actual review, allow me to state that this is the sort of green tea that I feel would really be best enjoyed gongfu style. I would have tried it this way as well, but unfortunately I am still waiting on my new gaiwan.

First Infusion: The infused liquor was a very, very pale yellowish green. In terms of color, this was one of the lightest steeps I have ever seen. Mild aromas of grass, straw, sweet corn, and honeydew were present on the nose. In the mouth, I immediately detected notes of sweet corn, freshly cut grass, straw, asparagus, peas, and bamboo underscored by honeydew, cream, and a slight minerality.

Second Infusion: The liquor produced was slightly darker and slightly more yellow than the first infusion. The aroma was very mild. I again detected grass and straw, but this time honeydew, cream, and mineral aromas showed up on the nose. In the mouth, mild notes of grass, peas, straw, asparagus, sweet corn, and bamboo were joined by more pronounced notes of honeydew, cream, and minerals that grew even stronger on the fade.

Okay, I like this tea. I tend to be a bit of a Dragonwell freak, and this one is very good, but I don’t think it’s my favorite. As I have mentioned in at least one previous review, I tend to like my Chinese green teas very vegetal, and this one is a little on the light and sweet side for my taste. Still, this is a very worthy higher end Dragonwell. I just think that I still prefer some of the others that I have tried.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Corn Husk, Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Peas, Straw

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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