Da Fo Long Jing (Big Buddha Dragon Well)
Green Tea 2019
Early spring harvest Big Buddha Dragon Well’s lingering, smooth flavor, floral aroma, and flat leaf shape exemplify the character of Long Jing green tea.
- Tea Origin
- Zhejiang Province, China
- Tea Bush
- Long Jing 43
- Tea Master
- Wei Qun
- Harvest Time
- end of March
- Picking Standard
- 1 bud to 1 or 2 leaves
Dragon Well (Long Jing) 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 Long Jing originated around Hangzhou City, it is now produced in many provinces resulting in a wide range of quality and flavor. There are thousands of Long Jing teas on the market but we have selected Da Fo Long Jing from Xin Chang County in Eastern Zhejiang because of the climate, skilled tea producers, and history.
Xin Chang County, is one of the cradles of Chinese Buddhism with over 1,000 years of green tea production history. 1,600 years ago, Da Fo (Big Buddha) Temple was built on the highest peak of Tiantai Mountain (1,138 meters high). They built a statue of Buddha that is 16.3 meters tall and 10.6 meters wide. This region used to produce large quantities of everyday grades of green tea (Gunpowder, Buddha’s Eyebrow, etc.) but not much profit was being made. In the mid 90’s, the government decided to invite Dragon Well tea masters to Xin Chang to teach how to make high-end green teas by hand. The brand name “Da Fo” or “Big Buddha” was approved by Xin Chang County’s government in 2002, hence the name of this particular Dragon Well variety.
In early spring, once tea buds have reached 1.2 centimeters tall, plucking begins. The plucking standard for Dragon Well is 1 bud to 1-2 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, ideal for frying. The tea is first fried by machine at a very high temperature, around 390 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3-4 minutes to stop oxidation. They give the tea a break before they begin to hand fry it in a wok at 170-212 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. The tea master will use specific 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 before frying it once more by hand at a slightly lower temperature 140-160 degrees for about 20 minutes. During this time, 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.
Da Fo Long Jing (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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