Weight: 28 grams (1 oz) Type: green tea, loose leaf Production region: Shifeng Village, Hangzhou, China
Longjing green tea is among the top ten teas in China. It has also earned a reputation as “The Queen of Green Tea.” Longjing has a long history that dates back to the Song Dynasty.
Authentic Longjing is grown in five villages surrounding the famous Xihu (West Lake) in Hangzhou. Shifeng (Lion Summit) village produces the best of the best. Pre-Qingming Longjing must be picked before the the Qingming Festival, which is around the 4th of April. Its picking period is only about 15 days. After that, desireability drops significantly.
Due to the small annual yield and the high domestic demand in China, authentic Pre-Qingming Xihu Longjing is very exclusive and difficult to obtain; most are sold out within a few weeks after production. Many that claim to be authentic Xihu Longjing are actually grown in the larger Zhejiang area. This year, I was able to source a small amount of authentic Shifeng Xihu Longjing from a farmer in the village.
Taste characteristics: The perfect yellowish green bud-sets exude a warm chestnut flavor and the tea broth is round, mellow and brisk. I was most impressed with the long finish of the tea. After a sip, you may want to savor the lingering flavor in your mouth for a few minutes before you take your next sip. I consider it a privilege to be able to try a rare tea of such high quality.
BREWING INSTRUCTIONS: Use 3 grams of tea per 177cc (6 oz.) of water. Steep the leaves using 175F degree water for 1 minute. Gradually increase the steep time for subsequent steepings until the tea is too weak to your liking.
The local people in Hangzhou drink this tea with a tall glass. Add 3g of leaves, fill the glass with 175F degree water and drink directly from the glass. Keep refilling the glass with water until the efficacy of the tea is exhausted.
Gradually increase the brewing time for subsequent steepings until the leaves are spent.