Lung Ching, or longjing green tea is named after the village these teas are grown in. The literal English translation for Lung Ching, is dragonwell. Dragonwell green teas are largely processed by hand, and in general, more expensive then equivalent green teas.
Dragonwell teas have a distinct vegetal taste with a smoky, almost nutty finish. I’ve tried many, and every dragonwell tea I’ve tasted has a baseline taste across all grades in loose leaf form. Dragonwell green teas range from superior -> grade 1 -> grade 5.
This particular dragonwell green tea is grade 2. A close up photography shot of the leaves show off the beautiful character these leaves give off, and the beautiful white hairs found on the actual tea leaves. The leaves give off a vegetal smell of slightly fermented grass.
Lung Ching dragonwell teas are more delicate, so I let boiling water cool for 5 minutes prior to steeping, to help preserve most of its natural flavors. I waited until most of the green tea leaves fell to the bottom and began skimming off the top with a spoon. On the nose, the hot water opens up the leaves and scent of vegetal grass becomes stronger. Dragonwell tea has a goldish green amber color in liquid form.
This particular dragonwell is grade 2. So you still get that distinct vegetal taste, with a mild toasty finish. The nut flavors are not pronounced with this particular variety found with higher grade lung ching dragonwell teas. The flavors don’t develop much, and are consistent from the initial sip. Overall, it’s pleasantly consistent and satisfying.
I waited a little longer for the leaves to fully extract its flavors. The second steep showed no progression or development of extra flavors. It tastes like the first, dialing back on the vegetal taste. The tea was still enjoyable for a second steep.
By third steep, most of the vegetal flavors were gone, and it began to taste more like hot water. I don’t recommend users steeping beyond two steeps with this tea.
This Lung Ching dragonwell green tea is not for the experienced. The strong vegetal flavors you’re accustomed to are not found in this variety. However, for beginners wanting to try new varieties of tea, this is a great way to get into dragonwell tea. It has the distinct lung ching flavors, without the over bearing vegetal flavors that could put off new drinkers.