Dragonwell Style Laoshan Green

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Green Tea
Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rumpus Parable
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175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 10 g 15 oz / 433 ml

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48 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Don’t have a clue whether this is a spring or autumn picking anymore…. but it’s tasty. Anyways, farewell for a while, most likely… life is too busy for this stuff right now! This is all the tea...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea came in my last order from Verdant – at times the traditional dragonwells seem a little light on flavor for me but I have always enjoyed the Laoshan greens I got from Verdant. 1st steep:...” Read full tasting note
  • “SIPDOWN! I figured I really need to start drinking some of my verdant samples since i know i’ll be placing another order in the near future (well month or so). I still enjoy this one, though I’m...” Read full tasting note
  • “Well … here I am about to try my first steep of this tea – thanks to Chado for getting me to rescue it from my cabinet! I often set aside by “better” teas as if I am afraid I may never get my hands...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

Vibrant green, creamy sweet, and delicately grassy, this green tea was produced from leaves grown on the Taoist Holy Mountain, Laoshan. This mountain is so far North that the tea shares many flavor qualities with fine Japanese Gyokuro, since the leaves are allowed to grow in the shade of mist from the ocean, less than a mile away. Almost impossible to make bitter, and great in a gaiwan, pot or thermos, this tea will make you rethink what Dragonwell style teas have to offer. The leaves spring back to life and dance in the cup, most being a set of one or two leaves and an attached delicate bud.

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48 Tasting Notes

6079 tasting notes

Don’t have a clue whether this is a spring or autumn picking anymore…. but it’s tasty.

Anyways, farewell for a while, most likely… life is too busy for this stuff right now! This is all the tea I’ve had in the last two days (oh yeah, a Tropicalia cold brew as well, better log that). If I have internet in Mexico, I’ll snoop around a bit… On that note… anyone know if I should be able to get tea through customs? Teabags, if nothing else? I’m dreading the thought of no tea/cheap Orange Pekoe. Or whatever they give you on Mexican resorts.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I’ve never won (lost?) the traffic light lottery at customs in Mexico. But I Know I have had tea bags in my luggage when passing through there and have never been pulled over. They have the general no plant material allowed listing in their declaration. My advice is to take only what your willing to loose (but you probably wont) http://mexico.visahq.com/customs/
I always used to list tea from Canada on my customs declaration and the agents used to laugh at me. Have a great vacation.


Thanks for the advice!! I was definitely thinking I shouldn’t take anything I’d be heartbroken to part with… I guess perhaps I’ll chew through some of the teabags I’ve had kicking around for a while now?


Ooh you’re going to Mexico!?
For how long??

Hope you have fun! FYI I brought tea when I went on my honeymoon to Mexico, I just told them that I brought it and kept it in the package so it was labeled as tea. But definitely nothing you are scared to lose!


OH btw the resort we stayed at had a brand of tea (bags) called “Dilmah” and I actually brought some home because I liked it :) Mind you my tastes are/were not refined but it was decent!


I have never had a problem bringing tea on a trip. But definitely don’t bring something you might lose. Have fun!

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2816 tasting notes

This tea came in my last order from Verdant – at times the traditional dragonwells seem a little light on flavor for me but I have always enjoyed the Laoshan greens I got from Verdant.

1st steep: around 2.5 minutes at 180 in the infuser mug. This is a very vegetal tea which reminds me of green beans but also has a creamy, almost vanilla like flavor lurking in the background. It is not wimpy, no Sir-eeee! It tastes like something that was just picked out of the garden. Not very astringent at all.

2nd steep: Just as nice as the first. A little sweeter now as the vegetal notes are fading slightly, but still so tasty! I think this tea is definitely a keeper!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

You know, I was tasting some Dragonwells at the festival last weekend and thinking that they were kind of weak. Not very vegital or watery or astringent. You’re right that this is full of bean taste in the mouth and clean without changing into a bad taste.


yep – I find so many of them to be kind of flavorless…

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14731 tasting notes


I figured I really need to start drinking some of my verdant samples since i know i’ll be placing another order in the near future (well month or so). I still enjoy this one, though I’m having a go at drinking this dragonwell style today. It’s uh…. a little interesting and a little challenging not to eat the tea lol But i’m sure i’ll get it figured out before i need to stop drinking this. haha.

Oh Happy snow day!


I put mine out so I would remember it this morning. I grab black tea most of the time.


me too bonnie, me too. I did pick up a bunch of pu-erh samples from verdant the other day as well that i need to go through…but i need to practice with my gaiwan first lol so that’s today/this weekend. Mostly so i can also try and get a sense of what i like in case i find anything interesting in china while i’m there


Going to China?!? How did I miss this piece of information?!
Lucky you! Tea animals and small cups would be easy to pack and bring back because of size. Ask David Duckler! Shoot him a note.( that would make a good verdant website article).


Bonnie – haha Unless my trip is cancelled i’m leaving on friday and i’ll be gone for 2 weeks. It’s on business so i won’t have a lot of time while i’m there, but I should have at least a bit of time to get over to the tea market. :) oh and maybe that whole wall thing they have going j/k


Also Bonnie…Not even sure how i’d get a hold of David even if i’m sure he’d be willing to give me some pointers heh.


CHINESE NEW YEAR?! Won’t everything be almost closed down?


Naw Chinese New year is next week. I’ll be there the week after for two weeks (into march..). There will still be festivities happening but my colleagues are all off the week before i get there.


I thought you were leaving tomorrow when you said Friday. And I thought the celebration was the week preceding and two weeks after in duration. Oops! (Glad I was wrong about the day with this storm!)


yeah there will be celebrations but things are supposed to mostly be closed only the week i’m not there :)

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807 tasting notes

Well … here I am about to try my first steep of this tea – thanks to Chado for getting me to rescue it from my cabinet! I often set aside by “better” teas as if I am afraid I may never get my hands on them again – which could be true in some cases!
The last two days have been a couple days of exploring a lot of my sequestered teas!
This tea smells sweet, floral, vegetal … still in the cup.
Oh please please cool some!
I have tried to stop myself from gulping my tea too hot, as I miss out on a lot of the flavor!
My cup literally almost runith over … I should have grabbed a larger cup.
I can’t even blow on it to cool it.
Anticipation ….
Hearing the old heinz ketchup commercial jingle in my head (dating myself)…
Oh noes … its bitter… :( What did I do wrong???
Steep time and temp were spot on and I used a scale to measure the leaves.
Let it cool some more … just wait ….
Twangy bitter ish.
This can’t be!!!!
I am going to just NOT be too happy having to dump this … going to try a re-steep – something is not right.


Okay lets see how the re-steep turns out. I hope it is better.
Nope – still bitter.
This is an official WTF file.


I do the same thing with my “preferred” teas!! hoarding them til the end of days when they are stale :/
Here’s hoping you figure out the mystery bitterness!


Thanks Indigobloom – I mean based on the other ratings and the fact that Verdant has good stuff … it has to be my palate … right?
I will try it again another day.
Its kind of giving me a headache right now.
Dumping this cup and the leaves – it feels horrible to do that especially if I do figure it out! Then I will look back and mourn these delicate lovely leaves. SIGH
LOL okay drama over.


Awww it could be just a bad batch. Who knows? besides the powers that be lol


Every tea tastes different to every palate.


Indeed. Do you think this could be it … usually I turn on my kettle and as soon as it gets to the right temp I turn the kettle off and pour the water.
This time I got distracted and it was too hot. So I let the water cool to the right temp and then poured on the leaves. Could THAT be an issue?


It could be. If you allowed the tea to reach a boiling point, and then allowed it to cool, that could be a factor, because once a tea reaches a boiling point, it can start to lose its oxygen more rapidly (which is why tea brewed with water that’s been over-boiled or boiled too long can taste flat).

It could also be that this particular tea just doesn’t tickle your palate’s fancy. Not every tea is for every person, that was a very difficult lesson for me to learn when I started out in the tea business (which was more years ago than I care to think about at the moment), because it would be difficult for me to blend a tea and have others be critical of it … I mean, that was my baby, and I thought it tasted amazing, why didn’t others love it the way I did? But, everyone is an individual with an individual palate, and every tea – even when brewed under the same parameters – will taste differently to each individual.


Shouldn’t be – I always let my water cool to the proper temperature, since I don’t have a variable temp kettle or anything. What were your exact parameters?? Perhaps try less leaf? I find that the recommended 5g is maybe a bit too much for me personally sometimes. Not that I’ve tried this particular tea, though – it’s en route :D

Scott B

Boiling water TOO LONG might affect it, but not just boiling itself.My tea boiler boils tea water for 4 minutes before it considers itself “done”-apparently they think that’s necessary to remove chlorine from the water.

After I have my boiling water tea, I just let it cool to whatever temp I need for my next cup and it works fine. I have seen tea companies even say “boil water and let cool for X minutes before steeping” to brew their tea.

Krystaleyn – I thought it seemed like a TON of tea myself! As I was scooping it out and weighing it I was like DANNNGGGG lol I will try that idea!

Scott – Yes I have seen that as well – boil then let cool 1 minute which is exactly what I ended up doing with this tea so yeah I doubt that was the issue.
It may be as Krystaleyn suggested so I will try less leaf next time.

Thank you both!

LiberTEAS – indeed I can totally understand how it must feel at times for people not to love your babies :) They ARE your creations that you “birthed” but alas yes we all do have different palates. I hope that reducing the leaves does help but if not I will have to chalk it up to my taste buds and pass this tea onto someone who will give it an adoring mouth :)


Sorry to get you excited Azzrian. I guess this tea just isn’t for you. Weird that I didn’t get any bitterness out of it. Possibly different batches? I’ll have to experiment a little more and see what happens.


Sorry to get you excited Azzrian. I guess this tea just isn’t for you. Weird that I didn’t get any bitterness out of it. Possibly different batches? I’ll have to experiment a little more and see what happens.


Oh its cool Chado … thanks :) I will experiment more too.


Azzrian, have you tried this one again yet? Based on my experiences with these dragonwells, I’m 100% convinced that too much leaf must be the problem. Steep a couple tsps full in 8oz. water at 175F for 1.5 minutes. If anything, that might end up too weak, but you should get the right flavours, and no bitterness. I really don’t think it’s your palate if you’re getting bitterness. If you dislike boiled veggies or rock sugar there might be a problem, but I don’t think that’s the case :)


No I never did …. and I love rock sugar and boiled (well steamed) veggies :)
I will take your advice here and give this another go tomorrow! Thank you Krystaleyn


Good luck :)

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1353 tasting notes

I have finally decided to get started on the green samples that Autumn_Aelwyd has shared with me. I decided to be systematic about it, and have sorted them into two piles. One Japanese and one Chinese, and I’ve decided to start with the Chinese ones.

I picked this one for the first one because it’s the only one of them where I’ve had others of its type before, and been very ambivalent about it too. I have, however, to my knowledge only ever done it Western style and it has dawned on me recently that green tea seems to suit me a lot better when in much shorter steeps than that. So I shall see if it makes a difference with this one as well.

The first steep tastes and smells very familiar. The aroma is that particular thick, yellow quality that reminds me of cat breath when the cat has just eaten. I’m a cat person, so this is not nearly as bad as it may sound. It’s simply the strongest association I get.

The taste is the same as I remember and very like the aroma, only it doesn’t remind of of kitties. It’s thick and viscous and with a grassy sort of strangely salty-sweet note to it. It’s not quite what I would understand with the word ‘butter-y’ but it’s leaning strongly in that direction. It’s the thick and tough feeling to the flavour that gets me here. It’s a bit like it doesn’t want to be experienced willingly, I have to do battle with it first before I can even get it near my tastebuds. It tastes stubborn.

The only difference here from the Western style of this type is that this short steep is a little easier to subdue. More brittle, somehow.

The second steep is a reward to myself for having hoovered the lounge. There’s still the rest of the house to go, but two kitties in a shedding phase = hoovering being hard work. And thirsty work too. So I’m doing it in bits and rewarding myself with small breaks so as not to break my neck on it. It doesn’t help that hoovering is not exactly a favourite job… The lounge makes up about a third of the house anyway, so I’m well on my way.

I’m giving the second steep as long as the first, and the result is quite different. The aroma has a touch of lemon to it now and the flavour has gained a floral primary note. If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t believe it were the same leaves. That thick, stubborn, cat-food-y sensation is nearly gone, and I can’t say that I miss it. This is more crisp and fresh, as opposed to the much heavier first steep.

If I have more Dragonwell in the future, remind me to skip the first steep entirely and go straight to the second.

Okay another bit of the hoovering done. About halfway done now and had to empty the dust bucket! O.o This third steep got five seconds extra. That floral note I found in the flavour of the second steep has moved into the aroma of this one. Instead, that little citrus note has sadly gone missing. That’s a shame. I would have liked to see that one developing a bit.

The flavour remains unchanged though. If anything, it’s a little stronger. There is a twinge of citrus-y undertone to it, but not enough that it really makes much of an impression. It’s possible it’s only there because I want it to be there. Overall, it’s floral and reminds me mostly of steamed green asparagus.

Nearly done with the hoovering now, and I’m rewarding myself with the fourth steep. This got the same amount of seconds as the third did. I should have given it a few more. The aroma is all but gone and this is like a much weaker version of the third, all except the floral note in the flavour. That one is as strong as before. The absence of the body of the flavour makes it all too dusty and floral tasting for me, so I’m skipping straight ahead to the fifth steep.

The fifth steep got a whole 15 seconds extra. The floral note is definitely subdued again, but it’s still there. Unfortunately the flavour doesn’t seem to want to be anything else than floral, and even with the longer steep this is still just a slightly stronger version of the fourth. I think I’m done with this. These water-y tail-end steeps hold little to no interest to me, and after two of these I do not feel like experimenting further.

So it’s time to find a conclusion to this. I still don’t much care for the first steep, and if I had done this Western style, I would have stopped there and written it off. The second and third were quite nice however, so those were positive experiences. Two good ones and one less so. I should think this lands us on the rating scale right about… here.


Cat breath?? I think I know what you’re talking about, but definitely haven’t ever gotten that association! I love Verdant’s dragonwells with maybe 2-3g of leaf for 8oz. and a 30s-1 minute first infusion that results in a crisp, sweet brew. How long were your infusions, out of curiousity? (I couldn’t find a reference point for the first in your notes.)


I don’t usually put the steeping times, because they don’t really mean that much on the overall picture when my leaf and water amounts are by eye measure, so I couldn’t replicate it anyway. But I started at 20 seconds. I usually do, give or take the additional seconds it takes to pour the cup and unplug the spout of leaves if necessary and getting from where-ever I am to the Tea Corner. It never actually winds up being very accurate. :)


Ahh, fair enough! You just referenced adding 5 seconds/15 seconds to infusion times and I was wondering how short you had started out with. One of my teapots takes 10-15s to pour out, which requires a fair bit of careful timing if I want to hit any exact number of seconds (so I’m always off :D)

Mark B

I struggled with this tea. Never could wrap my head around it. It’s up for trade, but if there are no takers I’ll probably come around and try brewing it again at even shorter times and lower temps….

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323 tasting notes

This is from Summer 2012. It came courtesy of Autumn Hearth

I’ve been hoarding the last few cups of this in my stash. It’s so good I don’t want to waste it. At the same time, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any really good tea.

I’m having a hard time breathing today so I’m trying to stay away from caffeine. I don’t want to make anything worse. And I decided that I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. I deserve some good tea.

Brewed Western-style, ~2tsp /16 oz. 30 sec first infusion.

So light, but it’s so thick and creamy and delicious. It’s sweet and sparkling. It has that nuttiness that I love about Dragonwell. And ohhh the lingering aftertaste.

Breathing is good. So is this tea. :)

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

Hope you feel better!


Thanks Bonnie!

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1220 tasting notes

Using my gaiwan on this and the usual drinking method. Two infusions per cup I drink.

For the first two, I’m glad I did because this is so light. It has this sparkling, effervescent taste to it. I also am getting flowers and grass. Lots of minerals, though for sure. Kind of not a fan of that.

Onwards to the third and fourth! This cup is a bit darker in color, more green. Lots of grass, reminds me of Gyokuro but lighter. I ended up on the phone with my mom so that’s about all that I remember from those.

Cup 3, fifth and sixth steepings. Steeped these while still on the phone so I got to hear, “are you making iced tea?” Haha, that will be the next thing I try with this tea, perhaps a cold steep! This one is even more flavorful, almost reminds me of an oolong now rather than a green. Tastes like fresh peas cooked in butter. It has a very cool mouthfeel that I don’t even know how to describe. Maybe like it suddenly has bubbles that are dancing around in there? Sounds good.

There will definitely be more to come!

Thanks for this, TeaEqualsBliss!


YAY!!!! I see you are jumping into the stuff I sent :) Glad you had fun with this one!


Yep! Trying to work on all the teas I’ve not tried yet, there are way too many!

Daniel Scott

I’m six years old, and a big fan of anything that bubbles.


Same here. Bubbles, or anything that spins. I have a pinwheel on my patio, so now I just need to go get some kind of automatic bubble blowing machine and I might never come back indoors…except for a bubbly drink.

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134 tasting notes

What a beautiful tea this Dragonwell Style Laoshan Green! The dry leaves look identical to the very high quality dragonwell (or longjing 龍井茶) teas that I have had the pleasure of drinking. Flat, pan fired and distinctly complete — not broken or crumbled. Truly worthy of pondering the long journey these leaves have made to make it into my cup.

The aroma is the first surprise. Not nutty like the longjing, but that distinct smell of the other Laoshan greens, combining the butter bean aroma with the slight scent of the ocean mists. When described as being somewhat like a Japanese gyokuro, I had my doubts, since gyokuro teas are not only shaded before harvest, but also come from different varieties of cultivars. I should have known better, since David has such a wonderfully developed palate and honesty which I have never seen hyped. You see, I love gyokuro, but my budget leaves it to being enjoyed on only the rarest of occasions!

So I brewed this at a lower temperature (140F/60C) and for just 90 seconds, and what a wonderful complex flavor from this perfectly translucent light green infusion. Sweetness, light grassy flavor and a touch of umami, a surprisingly complex green that is hard to categorize, yet truly enjoyable. It shares the characters of several well known tastes (gyokuro, longjing and Laoshan green) and comes up with a whole new flavor/aroma profile. Second infusion, was slightly higher temp, and only for 45 seconds, yielding a new profile that is even sweeter and lighter. More infusions coming, but I could not resist writing this tea experience up and sharing on Steepster…

140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Isn’t it incredible to see how much final processing can change the flavor of a tea? All of these Laoshan green teas from the same farm, same family.. very cool!

David Duckler

Many thanks for this,
Your comment has made my day. On a day so full of the headaches involved in getting teas from such small farms over to the USA, it raises my spirits to read your note, and enjoy the tea from your perspective. The He family in Laoshan amazes me with everything they grow. Such variety and such complexity that they offer.

Best Wishes,

Doug F

Twist my arm. I guess I’ll need to sample a few of this family’s offerings.

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525 tasting notes

Mmmm… nummy! Azzrian, you did it again! Another winner from my wonderful swap partner. This tea is so refreshing. It’s got a savory vegetal quality like asparagus or raw green beans. It’s toasty, but barely. It’s also somehow sweet and fragrant like citrus flowers. Beautiful lovely tea. It is a bit light though. I suppose I could use more leaf or less water next time.

Also, not really a good tea to go with food! The flavors are so delicate!


I am so happy you are enjoying the teas!!! :) Yay!

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49 tasting notes

When I first see the picture of this tea, I am suspicious of the dark green color of the leaves. This usually means a late harvest time that will yield a bitter, unpleasant brew. Still, I want to give Verdant green tea a chance, so I add this one to my cart, which already has the Autumn 2011 and Spring 2012 tieguanyins.

When I receive the bag, I let it sit on my shelf, expecting nothing special. During the tea’s quarantine, I decide to e-mail David and ask about its harvest time and picking standard. He tells me that it was handpicked during the autumn. This response enhances my suspicions about the quality of this tea. I have never heard of an autumn-picked green tea. The best green teas I have tried are picked within a two-week period between March and April.

When I finally get around to opening the bag, the tea leaves greet me with strong, sweet, vegetable aromas. I spoon about a tablespoon into a wine glass. I am surprised to see that the leaves are very long, longer than a standard dragonwell green tea. I pour 180 degree water over the leaves, which immediately release a strong vegetal aroma that is extremely pleasant. I take my first sip. My palate is greeted with a nice, medium-light body. The flavors astound me. I get notes of lightly steamed broccoli and peas, maybe a bit of cooked cabbage. Very nice. I let the leaves steep a little longer, maybe five minutes or so. I blow the leaves away and take another couple of sips. The flavors get stronger. I notice other notes, kind of like unripe mango or melon, just without the sourness. There is no hint of bitterness. Okay, David, what are you playing at? A green tea, harvested in autumn, steeping for ten, twenty minutes, and not even getting bitter? My entire perception of what goes into a good green tea is completely turned up-side-down.

Now for the second steep. Will it retain its flavor? I am pleased to notice a very high ratio of whole leaves to broken leaves, about 90% plus. This shows me the intense care that goes into the processing of this tea. Another testament to the strict attention to the wholeness of the leaves is that the brew shows absolutely no sign of cloudiness. It glows with a brilliance that I rarely see, even in a good green tea. The flavor is still there in the second steep. The balance between sweet and savory is enhanced, if not entirely different, from the first steeping. There is still no sign of bitterness.

David has confirmed many of my perceptions of what goes into a good green tea. The leaves should be whole. The brew should never go bitter. It should also have a clear brilliance to it. However, some of my perceptions have been trumped. A good green tea can be picked in the autumn, not just early spring. It can be dark green and still yield a wonderful flavor.

I have tasted scores of green teas since the inception of my tea obsession almost three years ago. I hold this Dragonwell-style Laoshan green in my top five, up there with Seven Cups’ Meng Ding Sweet Dew and Shi Feng Long Jing. It is by far one of the best green teas out there. You should buy it now before the demand causes the prices to go up!


I might add that this tea tastes or smells nothing like a true dragonwell. Don’t be fooled, though, it has its own unique character that makes it comparable to some of the best green teas on the market.


Praise the Tea Gods! I have this! Still quarantined but breaking out today!



Daisy Chubb

wonderful review!

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