Teas harvested in the spring are considered to be the best in many regions, and China's green teas are no exception.
“Pre Qingming” means this Long Jing has been harvested just before the “Pure Light” festival, when the Chinese people remember their deceased, marking the start of the harvesting of the new-season green teas. All teas harvested before this date are particularly prestigious due to the extreme delicacy of the plucking and the tiny quantities produced.
Also known as “Dragon Well”, Long Jing has one of the best reputations among Chinese teas and is appreciated around the world. Originally from Zhejiang province, its production has gradually extended to many other provinces, and today it is one of the most copied green teas in the whole of China.
Its leaves are well known and easily recognised from the way the leaves are folded into the shape of a young shoot. To shape this “Buddha’s eyelid”, the leaves are toasted for around 20 minutes in a wok using a slow, precise and regular movement.
François-Xavier Delmas' choice:
"The crème de la crème. A unique pre-Qingming plucking of China’s most famous green tea. It takes you on a wonderful journey along the shores of West Lake. A fantastic quality for this legendary tea."
- Origin: China
- Tea colour: green tea
- Appearance: magnificent folded leaves
- Colour: a very delicate, luminous green
- Scents: sweet vanilla, white chocolate, burnt (toasted hazelnut), nuts, mineral, vegetal
Brewed leaves (infusion):
- Scents: cooked vegetal, nuts, peanut, burnt (toasted hazelnut, roast chestnut), vanilla, butter (hot butter), fruit (yellow fruit), a liquorice accent
- Colour: a clear, gleaming, very pale green liquor
- Texture: both thick and delicately astringent, making this tea very round and full with a good presence and finish
- Flavours: sweet, a touch of umami
- Aromas: cooked vegetal (courgette, artichoke), nuts (chestnut, fresh hazelnut), a burnt accent, mineral, fruit (yellow fruit, stewed fruit), a floral accent at the finish (white flowers)
- Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: a very harmonious succession of notes. The fragrances are very present right from the start, and last for a long time. The finish has notes of nuts, peanut, white flowers, raw vegetal and aniseed
With the tasting set: 4 minutes in water heated to 75°C
Or three pinches of leaves in a small zhong, in short infusions (30-40 seconds) repeated four times, or longer (3-4 minutes) according to taste.