✓ 32 teas reviewed
✓ 1 of Dragon Well Tea
✓ 2 of Wei-Chuan
✓ 7 from China
Review of Organic Dragon Well Tea
April 4th, 2017
The tea in the sachets is a mixture of broken and whole leaves, so the first appearance is of tea that would be mediocre if sold loose. The dry tea is quite fragrant, though, smelling fresh and grassy.
I typically steep green tea at 170° for four minutes. With decent quality tea, this generally gives a comfortable balance between sweet and bitter. If the tea is too bitter, then I reduce the steep time.
Adding the water to this tea immediately produces a bright, yellow-green liquor. As the tea steeps, the color gradually picks up a more amber cast. The aroma isn't as strong at this point as I would have expected from the dry tea. After brewing, the sachet has expanded and is nearly transparent, allowing me to look at the brewed leaves. I can see a number of leaf tips. While there aren't as many as in a really high-quality tea, it's not pieces of large, old leaves, either. Based on the appearance, it's a medium quality tea. This tea has also expanded quite a bit during brewing. There's a generous amount of tea in each sachet.
The first taste is more potent than I would expect. It's fresh, sweet, grassy and lightly bitter. Once again, it's more bitter than a high quality long jing would be, but it lacks the unpleasant astringency that cheap tea often exhibits. The tea is flavorful enough that a shorter steeping (maybe two minutes) would still be tasty and markedly less bitter, but I'm happy with the four minute steeping.
As the tea starts to cool, more complex flavors emerge. The tea tastes slightly toasted and begins to taste similar to Japanese sencha, having a faint seaweed flavor and a more pronounced, but still pleasant bitterness. There are hints of hazelnuts and a growing astringency suggests pecans, but this tea lacks the fruitiness that is often found in higher quality dragon well tea. On the other hand, it's much better than most green tea that's available at a similar price. At $6.99 for 40 sachets, this tea is competing with (and outperforming) grocery store tea.
There are higher quality dragon well or long jing teas available, but compared to other green teas in its price range, this tea is exceptional.