Reviewer: Alex Zorach
✓ 1274 teas reviewed
✓ 21 of Dragon Well Tea
✓ 52 of TeaVivre
✓ 23 from Zhejiang, China
July 28th, 2012
The more high-quality loose-leaf dragonwell I try, the more I realize how diverse this type of tea can be. This tea was pleasant and easy to brew, and among the best loose-leaf dragonwells that I've sampled.
Dry leaf looks dusty, yellowish, and smells very pleasing, strongly aromatic, with a typical smell for high-quality dragonwell.
Upon brewing (2 minutes as recommended, with 175F water), this produces a rich-colored cup with a light flavor and strong, but somewhat fleeting aroma.
I find the aroma initially contains tones of chestnut and grass, but these qualities dissipate quickly. The remaining tones are highly vegetal, and are more similar to milder, high grade Chinese green teas that I've tried and less similar to other dragon well. But the chesnut does come out a bit again in the finish.
I also tried brewing with slightly hotter water (about 190F) and this brought out interesting wintergreen tones that I do not normally encounter in green tea. Although the tea was slightly more astringent and more sour this way, it was still very smooth and pleasing to drink. The hotter water brought out a bit of a cooked vegetable quality that I disliked, but I liked the wintergreen tones.
If you lower the water temperature, I find it is possible to bring out an orchid-like aroma.
The tea lasts through multiple infusions, even brewed western-style. Even with longer steepings and using less leaf, I was able to brew two very flavorful cups.
I liked this tea not only because it was all-around enjoyable, but because different brewing methods brought out different qualities in it. It's not cheap, but I think it's well worth the price.