What is Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea?
Known as one of the most famous and high-quality teas in China, Longjing tea, also referred to as Dragon Well tea, is a gentle Green tea with a beautifully fresh, fruity, and vegetal flavor.
Dragon Well became highly prized all the way back in the Qing Dynasty when it was announced that it had imperial status by emperor Qianlong after the brew allegedly helped cure his ailing mother.
Since then, its popularity has stuck, with expensive gift boxes of Dragon Well tea acting as a sign of power and luxury even today.
How do you pronounce Longjing?
Longjing is pronounced exactly how it looks: “long-jing”.
What do you need to make Dragon Well tea?
Using loose tea leaves really will give you the best tea-drinking experience. By letting loose leaves steep in the boiled water, they have room to unfurl and release all of their natural aromas.
How do you make Dragon Well tea properly?
To make the perfect cup of Longjing tea, you will want to use 2 teaspoons of tea leaves for each 8-ounce cup.
Tea tip: if you want a stronger flavor, add more tea leaves rather than steeping them for a longer period of time. Most people don’t realize this, but steeping tea too long doesn’t increase the good flavors, it actually can make it more bitter.
Step 1: Pour your water into the tea kettle.
Use cold bottled spring water or cold filtered water. (Tea Tip: Do not use distilled water – this will negatively impact the taste). Make sure to pour some extra water to warm up your teapot or steeping vessel.
Step 2: Boil your water.
For an optimal flavor experience, bring the water to about 175°F. This is important, as delicate green teas should not be steeped in boiling water. If you do not have an electric tea kettle with a temperature setting, just bring your kettle to a full boil, then remove it from the heat and let the water sit for a couple of minutes before steeping the tea.
Step 3: Warm up your teapot.
First, pour a bit of your boiled water into your teapot or steeping vessel and swirl it around for a few seconds to allow it to warm the vessel. Then you can discard this water in the sink.
Step 4: Put your Longjing tea leaves into the teapot and add the rest of your hot water and then cover the pot.
Step 5: Steep your tea leaves for 2 to 3 minutes.
This is typically when most of the tea leaves have sunk to the bottom of the steeping vessel.
Step 6: Strain your tea leaves.
This is easiest if you have a teapot with a strainer.
You can also save the tea leaves to re-steep if desired. Dragon Well tea can typically be infused 3 to 5 times. Remember to increase the steep time by about 30 seconds for each subsequent infusion.
Step 7: Decant your infused tea into your teacup, add sweeteners to taste, and enjoy!
What does Dragon Well tea taste like?
Longjing tea is a mellow green tea with vegetal and fruity base notes, toasty and nutty flavors, and a hint of chestnut.
How much caffeine is in Dragon Well tea?
The exact amount of caffeine in a cup of Dragon Well (Longjing) tea can vary based on the variety, amount of leaves used, and steeping time.
Generally speaking, Longjing tea has a moderate amount of caffeine, and can range anywhere from 40mg to 75mg per cup!
What are some health benefits of drinking Longjing tea?
Dragon Well tea has many health benefits including antioxidants. vitamin C, and heart health.
For the full summary, check out our post on the health benefits and possible side effects of Green tea.
What is the best way to store Dragon Well tea?
When it comes to storing Dragon Well tea, there are a few important things you will want to avoid. These are air exposure, light exposure, moisture, heat, and strong odors.
In order to keep your Longjing tea in its best and freshest condition, you will want to store it in a container that helps avoid the above-mentioned threats.
The best containers are made of opaque materials with a tight seal. Some good options include non-reactive metals, glazed ceramics, and non-leaching plastics. Beware that while you may see wood tea storage options, they are not best for storing loose-leaf tea, as they can have their own odors that can alter the taste of your tea.
Once you have your tea in its storage container, keep it in a cool, dark place.
You want to ensure your tea stays fresh as long as possible. To make sure you’re not making any common mistakes, be sure to check out our post on the best practices in tea storage!