Dafo Longjing (Big Buddha Dragon Well)
Green Tea 2020
Characteristic smooth and lingering complex Longjing flavor with a roast chestnut and floral aroma. Early spring harvest with uniformly sized leaves and a flattened ‘bookmark’ shape.
- Tea Origin
- Xinchang County, Zhejiang Province, China
- Tea Bush
- Long Jing #43 (Dragon Well #43)
- Tea Master
- Lü Yi Ming
- Harvest Time
- Late March
- Picking Standard
- One bud, two leaves
Dragon Well (Longjing) is the most famous green tea in China and was a tribute tea for centuries. During the Qing Dynasty, the royal family would drink Dragon Well during the summer and switch to puer tea in the winter. While Longjing originated around Hangzhou City, it is now produced in many provinces, resulting in a wide range of quality and flavor. There are thousands of Longjing teas on the market, but we have selected Dafo Longjing from Xinchang County in Eastern Zhejiang because of its favorable growing climate, skilled tea producers, and long history.
Xinchang County is one of the cradles of Chinese Buddhism with over 1,000 years of green tea production history. Dafo (Big Buddha) Temple was built on the highest peak of Tiantai Mountain (1,138m tall) 1,600 years ago. They built a large statue of Buddha that is 16.3 meters tall and 10.6 meters wide. This region used to produce large quantities of everyday grade green teas (Gunpowder, Buddha’s Eyebrow, etc.), but not much profit was being made. In the mid-90s, the government decided to invite Dragon Well tea masters to Xinchang to teach locals how to make high-end green teas by hand. The brand name “Da Fo” or “Big Buddha” was approved by Xinchang County’s government in 2002, hence the name of this particular Dragon Well variety.
Harvest for this tea begins in early spring once the tea buds have grown to 1.2 centimeters long. The plucking standard for Dragon Well is one bud and one to two tender leaves. Once the tea has been picked, processors place it on bamboo trays and wither it for about two hours to remove some of the grassy smell and enough water to make the leaves soft and wilted, ideal for frying. The tea is first fried by machine at a very high temperature to stop oxidation, around 390°F for about 3-4 minutes. They give the tea a break before they begin to hand fry it in a wok at 170-212°F for about 15 minutes. The tea master will use specific and precise hand movements for frying the tea to create Dragon Well’s signature flat bookmark-shaped tea leaves. The tea is left to sit for about an hour again before frying it once more by hand, this time at a slightly lower temperature of 140-160°F for about 20 minutes. During this time, the woks are closely watched and controlled by professionals to make sure the tea does not burn.
There are two styles of Dragon Well. One type is more yellow, preferred by Chinese, and is made by hand frying an additional time, giving the tea a more roasted flavor. The other is greener, which is what we carry. This allows you to enjoy the lightly chestnut and floral aroma and wonderfully complex taste, the signature of true Long Jing.
No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.
Dafo Longjing (Big Buddha Dragon Well) brewing guidelines
Teaware: 12 oz. glass or porcelain pot
Amount: 1 Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 185°F filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 2 minutes. The leaves are good for 5 infusions. Add a little more time for each subsequent infusion.
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