Dragon Well, epilogue
We’re back from our vacation and on the hunt for tea again. As a follow up to our posts on Dragon Well tea, we wanted to answer a few more questions. We asked: what makes Dragon Well tea, as a plant varietal, unique. Here’s what Ms. Lee said: When Long Jing is picked, the base of the stem turns red. This is a signature of Dragon Well. The leaves are a little wider (“fatter”) and the shrubs themselves are tall and thin and the leaves, unlike oolong leaves, are naturally thinner.
She also mentioned, it’s also important to look at processing of Dragon Well. The buds are very sensitive and good processing means that the tips of the buds are as green as the leaves. Black tips on Dragon Well tea are a sign of poor processing - the wok was too hot and the leaves were slightly burnt.
We also learned that Shi Feng, Lion’s Peak, has a unique kind of white sand that occurs naturally mixed in with it’s yellow soil. This contributes greatly to the slow absorption rate of the mineral content in the soil. This means there are two reasons high elevation Dragon Well tea is better than other Dragon Well tea: first, high grown tea grows slowly, resulting in higher fragrance taste. That’s a great start for this tea, then, on Lion’s Peak, the sand acts as a barrier to slow erosion thus more minerals are retained the soil delivering them to the tea plant completely nourishing it.