Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #8 - Lung Ching (Dragon's Well)
"Dear Upton Tea Company, I'm afraid there's been a mistake. You see, I ordered some of your organic Lung Ching to use as part of my year of tea tasting. Alas, I opened the package and it became clear that one of your delivery trucks must have run over my tea leaves, because the poor dears were flat as a flitter. What can we do about this? Sincerely, Angela McRae."
Fortunately, I didn't dash off the e-mail with my initial thoughts. Turns out, Lung Ching is indeed comprised of flat leaves. Who knew?
Name of tea: Lung Ching (Dragon's Well)
Category: Green Tea
Purveyor: Upton Tea Company
When purchased: January 2009
Dry leaf appearance: Flat, flat, flat. So flat I was worried at first!
Wet leaf appearance: Chopped spinach looking. Sank to the bottom of the teapot.
Steeping temperature and time: 1 level teaspoon of tea, 180 degrees, 3 minutes (I got two more steepings from this tea when using my little glass teapot, each steeped for a minute longer than the previous version. Then, I transferred the leaves to my glass gaiwan and enjoyed three or four MORE cups. I am getting a lot of mileage out of these tea tasting teas!)
Scent: OK, I'm used to the vegetal scent by now, but this time the scent that most came to mind was boiled peanuts!
Color: Deep gold
Flavor: A very rich, full, green tea taste, with no bitterness, and only the teeniest bit of astringency -- which I didn't detect until the second cup. I could (and did) drink a lot of this tea.
Additional notes: According to Michael Harney in The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea, "Lung Ching is to Chinese green teas what French Champagne is to sparkling white wines: the standard against which all others are measured." Well! Isn't that nice to know!
Next week's tea: Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Downy Tip)