Westlake Dragonwell?


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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 18th, '11, 22:25

bagua7 wrote: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. :?

:shock: I wonder how renowned that renowned shop is supposed to be, especially if it's right in Hangzhou. That sounds really like a floor-bottom low-level mistake/cheating, or simply misunderstanding. Even not-so-renowned shops would know to use something closer to replace LJ. :mrgreen:
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby bagua7 » Sep 19th, '11, 22:18

gingkoseto,

Well the thing is that this person was sold the tea in a can that reads "Westlake Shi Feng Longjing" (of course written in Chinese). She thinks that the switch was done either in another room or they have those cans ready for naive tourists. Not sure if the Chinese get ripped off by the tea shop owners. Anyway, Tead Off is spot on in these matters: please use the guidance of a reputable teacher if you can because longjing tea, Yixing clay, etc. are issues that require a lot of hands-on homework. Reading specialised books/magazines/online resources or chatting online to fellow tea addicts is sometimes not good enough...unfortunately. :cry:
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 21st, '11, 09:23

bagua7 wrote:gingkoseto,

Well the thing is that this person was sold the tea in a can that reads "Westlake Shi Feng Longjing" (of course written in Chinese). She thinks that the switch was done either in another room or they have those cans ready for naive tourists. Not sure if the Chinese get ripped off by the tea shop owners. Anyway, Tead Off is spot on in these matters: please use the guidance of a reputable teacher if you can because longjing tea, Yixing clay, etc. are issues that require a lot of hands-on homework. Reading specialised books/magazines/online resources or chatting online to fellow tea addicts is sometimes not good enough...unfortunately. :cry:


I think tourists can still get good and authentic Long Jing from reputable teashops. After all, not every tourist or tea drinker can or want to study tea, but they still deserve to get what they pay for. For example, if one buys from the Tribute Brand (Gong Pai) authorized store, or a few other stores of similar kind, the tea is guaranteed good. One may pay $100 for a tea that a savvy buyer can get elsewhere for $50, because the brand name is expensive. But for tourists, overprice is almost always better than taking home fake products.

If a tea business sells knowledgeable buyers good tea and other buyers bad tea, then it won't be a reputable business. Knowledgeable buyers usually are smart enough to tell if the store treats all buyers fairly. Chinese tea drinkers often say, "the authenticity of a tea is positively associated with the authenticity of its seller."
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby hopeofdawn » Sep 21st, '11, 11:22

Thanks for all the pointers and reviews, guys. Unfortunately, as a non-Chinese native I'm afraid my hands-on experience is of necessity limited to what I can order online (or from my local Seattle importers). So I pretty much have to rely on Teachat's communal expertise--and I'm very glad we have such knowledgeable members! :D
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby j-z » Sep 22nd, '11, 09:35

anyone have any experience with this vendor? they claim it's westlake, price looks good. garbage?

http://www.tenren.com/dragwel4thgr.html
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '11, 10:37

j-z wrote:anyone have any experience with this vendor? they claim it's westlake, price looks good. garbage?

http://www.tenren.com/dragwel4thgr.html

tenren is generally not too good with their teas. I would personally pass on this one.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby j-z » Sep 22nd, '11, 11:52

thanks for the response, is there any reason their tea isnt good? i drink nearly two lbs of tea a month just myself so im looking for something a bit more interesting than gunpowder or yamamotoyama sencha which seem to be the only reasonably priced offerings which can be drank at this volume and on this budget. do you think this would make a good 'everyday tea'?
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '11, 12:00

2 POUNDS??? WOWZA ...

They offer a lot of supermarket priced teas. These are just usually not so good, especially in a so called West Lake.

If you are going to drink 2 pounds of tea a month, you will likely want something in their price range, but if I may be so bold to make a suggestion?
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby j-z » Sep 22nd, '11, 12:05

ya any suggestion would be appreciated. and i know 2 lbs sounds like a lot and maybe i ruined my palate or something because i shifted from coffee to green tea but in order to do that i needed to basically consume the same caffeine equivalent of green tea, so since i was consuming about 500mg of caffeine with coffee i had to get the same amount from the green tea, which i calculated to be about 5 tablespoons worth of a first steep,, going off the idea that one teaspoon (2 grams) contains about 35mg.. anyways i didnt want to drink 15 cups of tea a day so it was just easier to brew 5 strong cups with a tbsp each and now ive gotten used to it and if i drink with less it tastes like water to me.. in fact even at a tbsp its beginning to lose its strong flavour over time which has led me to using less and less water. maybe im brewing it wrong? i bring it nearly to a boil but not quite, and i brew for about 3 mins. i tried double steeping before but again the second steep tastes too watery to me. i dunno
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby JRS22 » Sep 22nd, '11, 13:01

j-z wrote:anyone have any experience with this vendor? they claim it's westlake, price looks good. garbage?

http://www.tenren.com/dragwel4thgr.html


Ten Ren isn't claiming this is West Lake, at least not on the page you linked to. If you hang out on Teachat for a while you learn to read descriptions. This tea is described as mature, with some broken leaves. These terms indicate a less expensive tea since the early harvests and intact leaves are prized in dragon well. You might still enjoy this tea, but it's clearly not top quality, and it's priced accordingly.

Some of the popular vendors of Chinese teas are Jing Tea Shop and Tea Trekker, and also Teaspring. Just reading their tea descriptions is a step in your tea education.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby j-z » Sep 22nd, '11, 13:05

http://www.tenren.com/greentea1-loosdragwelg.html

Today, West Lake produces the best quality Dragon Well which Ten Tea Company is proud to import and make available for its customers. It is meticulously prepared using traditional methods from tender tea leaves. The finished tea leaves have a flat and smooth appearance. The four outstanding unique characteristics of Dragon Well tea are its green jade color, its orchid-like smell, its sparrow's tongue shape of its dried leaves, and its fresh taste and semi-sweet aftertaste.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '11, 13:47

j-z wrote:http://www.tenren.com/greentea1-loosdragwelg.html

Today, West Lake produces the best quality Dragon Well which Ten Tea Company is proud to import and make available for its customers. It is meticulously prepared using traditional methods from tender tea leaves. The finished tea leaves have a flat and smooth appearance. The four outstanding unique characteristics of Dragon Well tea are its green jade color, its orchid-like smell, its sparrow's tongue shape of its dried leaves, and its fresh taste and semi-sweet aftertaste.

However in actual product descriptions (that I looked at) there was no mention of the selection being West Lake. This could be a crafty smoke and mirrors thing.

I personally would just be very surprised in TenRen was really offering West Lake online and the photos are not particularly telling. Demand for West Lake LJ far outstrips supply. Maybe they have some in their store and feel justified in saying they offer it to their customers. :roll:

Just don't expect to get West Lake LJ at bargain prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is not. :idea:
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '11, 14:05

j-z wrote:ya any suggestion would be appreciated. and i know 2 lbs sounds like a lot and maybe i ruined my palate or something because i shifted from coffee to green tea but in order to do that i needed to basically consume the same caffeine equivalent of green tea, so since i was consuming about 500mg of caffeine with coffee i had to get the same amount from the green tea, which i calculated to be about 5 tablespoons worth of a first steep,, going off the idea that one teaspoon (2 grams) contains about 35mg.. anyways i didnt want to drink 15 cups of tea a day so it was just easier to brew 5 strong cups with a tbsp each and now ive gotten used to it and if i drink with less it tastes like water to me.. in fact even at a tbsp its beginning to lose its strong flavour over time which has led me to using less and less water. maybe im brewing it wrong? i bring it nearly to a boil but not quite, and i brew for about 3 mins. i tried double steeping before but again the second steep tastes too watery to me. i dunno

Hm, not sure I have much of a helpful suggestion, except sometimes "less is more." If you are willing to drink less, you could definitely improve the Quality factor of what you are drinking. You would likely enjoy it more while you drink less.

You are going to have a hard time finding exceptional everyday drinkers, they tend to be very hit or miss in this price range and very inconsistant from one order to the next.

There is also something we would call the V factor, VALUE. Buying a better tea often has better overall value since you will likely not waste the tea since it is much less likely to be a vile offering. Plus you get more steeps. Plus you will likely find that you enjoy it much more ... it may slow you down and cause you to slow down and "smell the roses" which in this case would be the TEA. :mrgreen:

However, if you just want massive doses of caffeine, by all means, stay your course. However ...

Drink what you like, like what you drink!
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby j-z » Sep 22nd, '11, 14:59

i heard that higher quality greens tend to mean they have a lighter flavour, is this true? if so im probably better off with a lower quality one. i ordered a pound of the third grade dragonwell from tenren as well as a sample of the 1st grade just to compare anyhow. so far the green tea ive tried that ive liked best was the yamamotoyama sencha, which i know a lot of people seem to look down on but i guess the flavour just appeals to me.. kind of burnt and sweet, great smell to it too.
is there any reason for suspecting bad business practices of tenren? it seems a big accusation to suggest they would intentionally mislead the customers like that, maybe all businesses do that i dunno but i tend to want to give the benefit of the doubt unless ive received some sort of evidence to make me think differently. anyways i just look forward to something other than this gunpowder green ive been stuck with the past week, anything has to be a step up from that.
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Re: Westlake Dragonwell?

Postby Chip » Sep 22nd, '11, 16:00

j-z wrote: so far the green tea ive tried that ive liked best was the yamamotoyama sencha, which i know a lot of people seem to look down on but i guess the flavour just appeals to me.. kind of burnt and sweet, great smell to it too.

:mrgreen: The reason we are not enthralled with Yamamotoyama is because again, here is a "knock off" of the original. You have to look real hard (or at least last time I looked, it was not with the actual product description) to find the fact that their sencha consists of Brazilian so called "sencha."

I am not comfortable with this practice as it is rather misleading. They should say it is steamed green tea from Brazil in a style simlilar to Japanese sencha. But to call something "sencha" sans explanation implies that it is from Japan unless it has the country of origin in front of it, for instance Chinese sencha.

I would be curious what the package says under ingredients.

BTW, it is hard to generalize about lighter flavor in higher quality green tea as this does not ring true quite often.

j-z wrote: is there any reason for suspecting bad business practices of tenren? it seems a big accusation to suggest they would intentionally mislead the customers like that, maybe all businesses do that i dunno but i tend to want to give the benefit of the doubt unless ive received some sort of evidence to make me think differently. anyways i just look forward to something other than this gunpowder green ive been stuck with the past week, anything has to be a step up from that.

We are here to discuss tea, we know this practice is rampant for teas such as West Lake Long Jing. We observe, we taste, we judge accordingly. We truly endeavor to be honest in our discussions, in fact a member knowingly posting falsehoods will feel the wrath of the forum moderator.

Fact, much more West Lake Long Jing is sold than is produced, this is common knowledge. This is too common in the Tea industry, as it applies to other teas such as Darjeeling, sencha, as well as others. The better Long Jing from West Lake command high prices which is all the motivation that is needed for the less than honorable.
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