My first Dragon Well

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

My first Dragon Well

Postby Trey Winston » Dec 18th, '07, 08:00

So I splurged on some Dragon Well, partly from curiosity, partly to see if there is a world outside of Silver Needle and sencha.

Visually, the Dragon Well leaves appeared lighter than the sencha, and came in whole, tiny, flattened leaves. The sencha looks like factory floor sweepings by comparison (but of course that is not really how they make sencha (is it?)). Dragon Well on the left.

Image

I decided to treat the Dragon Well delicately, like a white, and steeped in water at 80C. After steeping for a minute and a half, it looked pale, more resembling a white than my usual sencha.

Image

The aroma was correspondingly subtle, but heavier, fuller, and more «mature» than the sencha I usually enjoy. The vegetal taste was also more subdued, which I suppose contributed to the feeling of maturity I got. I also think I detected a little more spice in the aftertaste than sencha or white. I got associations to late summer, whereas the sencha makes me think of springtime – a bit surprising, since I understand that Dragon is harvested earlier in the year than sencha.

In the end, I decided to go for a six minute infusion to bring out more bitterness, but no real bitterness came along, which I would consider a good thing. The vegetal flavor just got slightly deeper.

After this long steep, the leaves appeared a very light green, much lighter than my sencha leaves.

This was a very fine experience, both sating my curiosity and giving me an appreciation for what I would consider a less immediately accessible green – but ultimately more satisfying.

Comments are most welcome :)

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Dec 18th, '07, 08:39

Don't let Wes see this... :)

Glad you liked it, though!

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Postby CynTEAa » Dec 18th, '07, 09:10

Mmmmmm! Looks like a nice one. Did you perceive any chestnut notes?

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Postby Mary R » Dec 18th, '07, 09:51

Seriously...maybe I should figure out some magical mod move to prevent his Supreme Fukaness from discovering this thread's existence...

Lovely notes. I thought the bit about the aroma being heavier, fuller, and more mature particularly apt. I usually attribute that tendency to nut tastes in the LJ that are typically absent in sencha, but it was great to hear it described in more abstract language. I think its a little truer to the experience.

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Postby Chip » Dec 18th, '07, 10:31

Now that you have tried this LJ, you should try some others as well. They differ enough to make LJ hunting and gathering a fav past time of mine.

I have some that are definately much more nutty, some more earthy, and still others vegetal as you described.

Playing around with temps and brew times will also change the character and profile.

Sencha and LJ, my 2 fav teas...I like having both in my line up because they are sooo different from each other, it keeps me craving both.

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Re: My first Dragon Well

Postby Space Samurai » Dec 18th, '07, 12:54

Trey Winston wrote:The sencha looks like factory floor sweepings by comparison (but of course that is not really how they make sencha (is it?)


Sencha is rarely, in my opinion, much to look at it in comparison. I think I read somwehre that its the steam that does it.

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Postby Chip » Dec 18th, '07, 13:32

lol, agreed. But the forest green color of sencha is so appealing!!!

LJ is so carefully picked and produced by hand, a man and a big wok.

Sencha is for the most part produced by machinery. The steaming machines are mind boggling.

I always think of art when I think of LJ and I think of precision when I think of sencha.

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Postby Trey Winston » Dec 19th, '07, 04:04

Thanks very much for all the nice comments. "Nutty" does indeed describe the taste well, and it was just the word I was looking for when I wrote it.

I will be sure to try some other varieties of Dragon, but I first have to finish the current batch (yum) :)

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Postby Al » Dec 21st, '07, 20:52

I didn't really "get" green teas until I first tried Long Jing. It was my gateway green.

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