Experience: top notes of pistachio and cashew, hints of green apple, lingering sweet mouthfeel.
We're overjoyed with the 2023 version of this O5 classic; we've been drinking this tea since 2009 and Mr. Wen's family never ceases to amaze.
Origin: Qiao Ban Village, Zhejiang. This remote village road access.
GPS: 30.0°N 118.9°E
Handpicked and handmade
This tea grows near the western border of the Province of Zhejiang, close to Huang Shan (in Anhui). It is the hometown of our late friend Zhan Zhifang, where his family handcrafts spectacular (yet arguably quite humble) tea.
Dragon Well (龍井 in traditional Chinese and 龙井 in simplified characters) is one of the most famous styles of green tea in China. Its traditional origin is the hills that surround the West Lake (西湖), in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang. The tea is handcrafted both with an heirloom cultivar (bendi) and a more modern cultivar with higher yields (called '43'). The leaves are traditionally processed by pan-firing.
This tea is handcrafted in a very similar way but is NOT grown in the West Lake vicinity. Hence, we use the name 'Long Jing' in quotation marks. We believe, however, that the humble (absolutely not famous) terroir that yields Mr. Wen's tea is in some ways superior. With higher altitude (up to 1300m), significant isolation (there is no road access to Mr. Wen's village) and less stress on the tea plants, the quality of Mr. Wen's family's tea is superb.
Harvest date: third week of April 2023 (i.e. the earliest harvest available this year in the village).
80º - 150ml
'grandpa style' allowing the leaves to settle as you sip the tea in your cup.
start sipping after 120"; refill your cup with hot water once you've consumed ~70% of your drink.
ABOUT THE GROWER
Wen Xing Zhou and his wife Zhan Zi Mei live in a remote village with no road access where they harvest leaves from semi-wild bushes that are 70-80 years old. The village lies high in the mountains, and the altitudes and cool weather produce a very small but highly prized yield of tea leaves each year. Despite approaching his eightieth year, Mr Wen insists on harvesting and processing all his teas by hand. The resulting teas are truly unique and some of the best we have ever tasted.