No. 86 Dragonwell

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves
Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Peas, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla
Sold in
Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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  • “It’s time for me to celebrate another sipdown. I finished the last sachet of this tea shortly after I got up this morning. At this point, it doesn’t look like I will be able to completely clean out...” Read full tasting note

From Steven Smith Teamaker

Pan-fired in a hot wok and flattened by hand, Dragonwell, also know as “Long Jing” is for many the most famous green tea. The best comes from Hangzhou, near the spring where a dragon was said to dwell. We prize its pale emerald color and slightly sweet, chestnut-like taste. Also offered as loose tea in a loose pack.

About Steven Smith Teamaker View company

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1 Tasting Note

943 tasting notes

It’s time for me to celebrate another sipdown. I finished the last sachet of this tea shortly after I got up this morning. At this point, it doesn’t look like I will be able to completely clean out my hoard of stuff from Steven Smith Teamaker by the end of November, but I should be able to finish everything before the end of January.

I prepared this tea using a two step Western infusion process. I steeped 1 sachet of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 175 F water for 2 minutes. I then followed this infusion with a second infusion at 3 minutes. Note that this preparation method is a significant deviation from Steven Smith Teamaker’s recommended method (one infusion at 3 minutes in 190 F water).

Prior to infusion, the dry leaves produced a subtly sweet, mildly vegetal scent. After infusion, I picked up on aromas of oatmeal, toasted rice, corn husk, bamboo, asparagus, soybean, and snap peas. In the mouth, I detected the expected notes of oatmeal, toasted rice, corn husk, bamboo shoots, asparagus, soybean, and snap peas, though I also detected fleeting impressions of vanilla creme, malt, honey, hazelnut, and chestnut. The second infusion was very smooth and savory on the nose and in the mouth. I detected more pronounced aromas of corn husk and bamboo, as well as vanilla creme, oatmeal, toasted rice, malt, and nuts. Oddly, the vegetal scent was somewhat lacking. In the mouth, I got robust notes of vanilla creme, malt, toasted rice, oatmeal, honey, chestnut, and hazelnut up front. There was also a hint of minerality that was most noticeable toward the finish. I was just barely able to pick up on faint notes of bamboo and corn husk in the background.

This was an interesting Dragonwell. It was much sweeter, creamier, and maltier than expected. To me, it was a very savory green tea, though it lacked some of the more pronounced vegetal qualities I typically look for in a tea of this style. Still, I thought this was very good and very approachable. I do not think I would have much difficulty recommending it to fans of Dragonwell or newcomers to this type of green tea.

Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Peas, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Just out of curiosity, how are you able to pick out so many different flavour/aroma notes in the teas you try? I usually have a hard time identifying most of the ingredients that are actually in the tea!


Mookit, a lot of it really comes down to practice. A couple of my college roommates were huge foodies and used to review restaurants and they got me into thinking about things that I consume on a deeper level. I also became involved in the craft brewing scene in the Midwest and Upper South here in the U.S. A former associate of mine went through the Cicerone program and conducted classes out of the bottle shop/bar that he owns and manages. He was a huge help in assisting me with identifying and describing aroma and flavor impressions in more personal terms. There were others who helped with that too. Another former roommate was a professional brewer and beer critic, my best friend’s wife is a professional brewer, and then a former family friend with whom I used to stay was a chef. I guess I’ve just spent a good deal of my adult life around people who engage in analyzing food and drink, so that has influenced me to be as descriptive as possible when I evaluate anything consumable.


I’d like to say it has something to do with having a sensitive nose and palate (I’ve been told that I have both a sensitive nose and palate), but I think it has more to do with just spending a lot of time around people who discussed food and drink on a really deep level and feeling the need to be able to discuss my own impressions of such things in order to be included.


So, now that I’ve explained why I approach describing things the way I do and what influenced me to take the approach I take, I would like to answer your question a little more specifically. I take a lot of time in smelling and tasting the tea. With each sniff and each taste, I ask myself “what does this remind me of?” Then I challenge myself to make as many associations as possible. Believe it or not, I don’t try to be overly precise. If I can’t quite place a specific smell or flavor, I just try to get as close as possible in my description. As I drink too, I also try to keep previous infusions in mind and think of how the tea changes over the course of the session. Then when I write a review, I try to convey what I experienced throughout and make an effort to detail how I felt the tea changed and developed. To be clear, I don’t always feel that I am wholly successful in accurately describing what I experience, but I do try to get as close as possible. In the end, I feel that as long as I can be at least semi-satisfied with my description of what I experienced when drinking a tea, I have succeeded in doing what I set out to do.


Wow thanks for the thorough explanation! I feel like I’d have to get familiar with a lot more different foods and tastes in general in order to be associate in the way that you described. Sounds like a fun journey to expand my knowledge though. :)

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