Thursday, June 04, 2020

Shi Feng Long Jing green tea review -

I’ve been reviewing some tea samples I got from and this is the first of three green teas I got from them.

Today I’m reviewing Shi Feng Long Jing green tea.

This is the only Chinese green tea I received from MastersTeas (the other two are Japanese) and it’s the 2020 crop. I reviewed the 2019 crop in a blog post last year and liked this tea, but at the time I hadn’t yet gotten into gongfu steeping and so I just steeped it western style, about a teaspoon in 170°F for 3 minutes. It was a very good green tea, especially for drinking with dessert, but it’s a light flavor and I wouldn’t drink it with dinner because for me, it gets overpowered by flavors from a meal.

However, now that I have my tea tray and a gaiwan, I was eager to try this tea gongfu style to see how it might taste differently.

From the website:

Our 2020 Shi Feng Long Jing, which translates to Lion's Peak Dragonwell, is one of the most famous green teas in China. It hails from the equally famous and historic West Lake area in Hangshou, Zhejiang province. This Shi Feng Long Jing is a pre-Qing Ming Festival, and so its early spring harvest results in a tender, young plucking. The liquor is a pale yellow, with a soft, sweet chestnut aroma. The crisp body is delicately nutty, quite complex, with a flickering hint of sweet grass and apricot blossoms.

About the leaves:

This Shi Feng Lung Jing is grown at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level in Zhejiang, China. This hand-plucked variety has a standard of one bud and one or two, three cm long leaves. which were harvested in early April 2020. The firing time and temperature is determined by the tea master and depends solely on the tenderness of the leaves at that time and is repeated one additional time. Compared with other Lung Jings, this one has a flatter, lighter appearance.

This tea contains a moderate level of caffeine

Steep at 170° for 2-3 minutes.

I used a 100mL gaiwan to steep the tea, so I weighed 3.5 grams of tea and used water at 170ºF. The first steep was 15 seconds, and each successive steep was increased in 3 second increments.

The first steep had a bright, typical green tea flavor. It was similar to sencha but lighter, without that brothy sea flavor that’s often in high quality sencha teas.

The second steep was stronger than the first and a little bit bitter, but similar tasting to the first steep.

In the third steep, a faint floral scent started coming out of the tea. It was very pleasant, especially since I like floral scented teas. It was a soft floral scent like honeysuckle and not quite as sharply sweet as, say, jasmine or orange blossoms.

The fourth steep was not as strong, but I started getting a more nutty flavor from the tea. It kind of reminded me of steamed chestnuts or raw hazelnuts, and this was before I’d read the description on the website.

By the fifth steep, the flavor was getting a little too weak for my taste, so I stopped there.

This tea was so different when brewed gongfu style! When brewing western style, it was a good green tea, but gongfu style it had more complexity—or maybe I just was able to taste more of the subtle flavors that I couldn’t pick out in the longer-steeped tea.

Overall, it’s a lighter green tea than others I’ve tried, and I would only drink it when eating desserts or cookies. I think I prefer it gongfu style, whereas with a lot of other green teas, like sencha, I tend to like them brewed western style. For people who want a lighter tasting green tea that’s not as deep-flavored as a sencha, this is definitely a good one to try.

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