AdamMY wrote:I would say very good Dragonwell is quite uncommon. But it is such a well known type of tea that nearly every non specialized vendor carries a version. But as Ian said, it really comes in all classes, and a lot o people prefer to get their greens from quite specialized vendors who offer certain care regarding the freshness of of the green tea, along with searching for quality.
Yes, unfortunately the name Dragonwell is not protected as is such names as An Ji Bai Cha and Da Hong Pao, so it is very easy for tea producers to scam the buyers. Also, as this tea becomes more and more popular worldwide, more and more provinces in China are selling Dragonwell that are lower quality and in many cases nothing close to the real thing.
As far as I can tell, a true Dragonwell tea must come from a Long Jing cultivar, of which there are several. If you want to look for a truly satisfying, nutty, complex long jing that lasts for several steepings, go for the Lion's Peak or Shi Feng Long Jing. Only a few companies here in the states sell this tea. A reliable alternative is a long jing that comes from the Jiu Keng cultivar.