Westlake Dragonwell?


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Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby hopeofdawn » Sep 14th, '11, 15:06

I've had Dragonwell before, and enjoyed it a great deal--but I've also heard that authentic Westlake Dragonwell (long jing/long ching?) really does live up to its reputation as a superior tea.

Which, of course, makes me want to compare. :) Can anyone recommend a good source for authentic Westlake Dragonwell? It seems like every tea retailer out there has 'dragonwell', but the quality (and the location it comes from) seems to be all over the map, so I'd love any recommendations people might have!
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby brlarson » Sep 14th, '11, 16:28

I hope you're prepared for a lot opinions :)
(I thought fellow TCer Ginko was selling Xi Hu dragonwell but site `Life in Teacup' doesn't appear to active.)

If you're not on a quest for the ultimate Shi Feng dragonwell then you have lots of good choices. Here are a few:
* Postcard Teas
* The Tea Gallery
* Jing Tea Shop (2010 weng jia shan was very good)
* Teaspring (have not tried)

Some pricier examples are available from
* Hojo Tea
* Red Circle Tea
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 14th, '11, 16:30

... and just because it says West Lake does not guarantee it is West Lake. I would venture a guess that Long Jing (and especially West Lake) is one of the most knocked off teas out there.

This is not to say that some of these knock offs are not good, they can be quite good. However this practice does not instill confidence.

Names I hear over and over for Long Jing are TeaSpring and Jing. TeaSpring always offers an abundance of info for their Long Jing selections.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Mintaka » Sep 14th, '11, 17:02

Well, one of my current favorite dragonwells comes from the Jing Tea Shop. The other is from a local shop, which is owned by a friend, so I'm pretty sure she's being honest in saying it is from the superior west lake area.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Poohblah » Sep 14th, '11, 18:31

Chip wrote:... and just because it says West Lake does not guarantee it is West Lake. I would venture a guess that Long Jing (and especially West Lake) is one of the most knocked off teas out there.
When I was in Hangzhou (location of Xi Hu [West Lake]), somebody told me that most tea sold as "longjing" actually comes from Sichuan province, not the Xi Hu area.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 14th, '11, 18:38

Poohblah wrote:
Chip wrote:... and just because it says West Lake does not guarantee it is West Lake. I would venture a guess that Long Jing (and especially West Lake) is one of the most knocked off teas out there.
When I was in Hangzhou (location of Xi Hu [West Lake]), somebody told me that most tea sold as "longjing" actually comes from Sichuan province, not the Xi Hu area.

Also Shi Feng is somewhat meaningless, IMHO. There are brands by this name, etc. Sort of like Dong Ding oolong, which has come to more signify a style than an origin.

I find the fewer hands that touched a tea like Long Jing, the greater likelihood of some semblence of truth in advertising. If you are buying from someone who bought it from someone who bought it from someone ... forget about it.

So as usual, it comes down to the source and being aware of the pitfalls along the way to buying a good tea.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby NOESIS » Sep 14th, '11, 18:51

Nada currently has a very nice pre-Qing Ming Shi Feng LJ in stock.

http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/other-tea ... -ming.html
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 14th, '11, 18:56

NOESIS wrote:Nada currently has a very nice pre-Qing Ming Shi Feng LJ in stock.

http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/other-tea ... -ming.html

Nada wrote:In contrast to the many imitations and fakes on the market, this is guaranteed to be authentic Shi Feng Long Jing.

:!:

Thanks Noesis, I would not have thought of Nada for a green.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Poohblah » Sep 14th, '11, 23:33

It seems to me that, because of the high demand for LJ, many vendors offer LJ even though they do not necessarily specialize in Chinese greens.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Proinsias » Sep 15th, '11, 08:43

Another vote for Postcards Teas, Master Luo's long jing is spectacular, and Jing Teashop.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby hopeofdawn » Sep 15th, '11, 10:27

Wow, thanks for all the recommendations, everyone--now at least I know where to look (and who to trust!) Teachat comes through for me again ... :D

And actually, that brings up another interesting question--what would you guys say a good dragonwell *should* smell/taste like? It would be interesting to see how much variance there is out there ...
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby debunix » Sep 15th, '11, 12:38

hopeofdawn wrote:nd what would you guys say a good dragonwell *should* smell/taste like?


The main variations I've encountered are in the degree of roasting--how toasty/nutty the leaves smell, and the dominance or subtlety of that flavor in the leaves, and the degree of astringency in the flavor--not overt bitterness, but that feeling of astringency that gives an edge or contrast to the tea.

I generally prefer green teas with subtler roast, and have read that poorer quality leaves are often more highly toasted to mask other off flavors, but even the highest quality Long Jing I've had (from Jing) still was quite strongly toasty/nutty compared to many other types of green teas. But in that lovely Jing version, it was well integrated into the green pea and asparagus, and not dominant. Recently I tried a nice version from Norbu that was much lighter on the roasting but also quite nice.

I also like the astringency to be very subtle, and it seems to be in the best teas.

I too will be very curious about the answers here. I've tried about 6 versions of Dragon Well so far, varying in their claims to quality and closeness to the Lake, and except for the Jing version, have not found my preferences matching the seller's rating much of the time.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby TIM » Sep 15th, '11, 12:54

hopeofdawn wrote:Wow, thanks for all the recommendations, everyone--now at least I know where to look (and who to trust!) Teachat comes through for me again ... :D

And actually, that brings up another interesting question--what would you guys say a good dragonwell *should* smell/taste like? It would be interesting to see how much variance there is out there ...


Hot Roasted Crispy Duck Skin.

Here are some tasting notes from this year:

Dry leaves aroma of dry seaweed, clean morning forest air, dry jasmine rice, corn and tiny white orchid (Mei Lan). All the right flavor are presented.

Heat leaves: Lemon, rice, vanilla, chocolate, and pineapple. Brewing parameter: 1/3 in 100ml gaiwan. 120F water. 1st/10sec. 2nd/15sec. 3rd/10sec. 4th/30sec. 5th/20sec. with shrimp eye boil. 6th/30sec. 7th/60sec. 8th/2mins....

Liquor: Steamed green bean, light roasted corn, veggie, seaweed, roast duck, sweet pineapple, loads of bitter chocolate.

Notes: The liquor is not as delicate and soft as the promising aroma with big nose, and full fragrant upfront but not delivering in the taste. Perhaps the result of a too-early harvest, underdeveloped leaves. Too many tiny buds and fluff balls causing the bitter, veggie, over-brewed gyokuro quality, specially rough on the tongue at the later steeps. Although there are tons of umami, which might not be a good character after all. Will wait and hope for our 2nd harvest pre-grain rain shipment next week and compare.

http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/201 ... ng-10.html

Image

Premium AAA Grade. 2011-03-28 Lion's Peak.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby bagua7 » Sep 18th, '11, 21:32

Some interesting facts can be found in here:

http://www.hangzhouteatours.com/HZandTea.html

But how do you know you are purchasing the real thing. Let me offer an example:

A TCM practitioner I know of, after graduating from post-grad studies in Hangzhou a few years ago, bought locally some LJ from a renowned shop in the area thinking that it was the real thing...and well the purchase turned out to be Huangshan Mao Feng, not the real thing. :?
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Tead Off » Sep 18th, '11, 22:16

bagua7 wrote:But how do you know you are purchasing the real thing. Let me offer an example:

A TCM practitioner I know of, after graduating from post-grad studies in Hangzhou a few years ago, bought locally some LJ from a renowned shop in the area thinking that it was the real thing...and well the purchase turned out to be Huangshan Mao Feng, not the real thing. :?

You don't know. That is the starting point. You either have to find a vendor whom you can trust (how do you know you can trust them?) to show you over and over again the differences between the real and unreal, superior and inferior leaves or delve into the subject like any other by studying, buying, comparing, and, analyzing. Having a teacher is the fastest way.
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