Xi Hu Long Jing Spring Harvest 2013

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 19 oz / 550 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’d thought that I must have oversteeped my big pot of Norbu Xi Hu Long Jing, as the liquor was darker than usual and more yellow—almost gold—as well. Gazing out the window, I lost track of time...” Read full tasting note

From Norbu Tea

The distinctive flat leaf shape of Long Jing is a result of the pan firing process used. Green leaves are loaded into a relatively low temperature wok (175-212 F) and tossed by hand to kill the enzymes in the leaves that would otherwise cause the leaves to oxidize and begin to turn brown. After the leaves begin to soften, the tea master begins a process of repeatedly pressing the leaves against the surface of the wok and tossing them away from the hot surface. This is not an easy process to do properly, and it takes a lot of skill to keep the leaves from scorching and turning brown if the leaves are pressed too hard or too long against the hot surface or not taking the flat shape if there is too little pressure used.

Long Jing is without a doubt the most famous green tea in China, if not the world. Long Jing literally means “Dragon well,” which is an actual water well located in the Xi Hu (West Lake) district of Hangzhou Prefecture. Green tea has been produced in the area near Hangzhou city since at least 750 CE/AD, and was designated as an imperial tribute tea in the early part of the Qing Dynasty (around 1650) by the Emperor Kangxi.

This is an authentic Long Jing from the Shi Feng mountain area relatively close to Xi Hu (West Lake). It was hand picked and traditionally processed in early April, 2013. The cultivar used is the traditional Long Jing cultivar, which is becoming less popular among producers in the area because it begins to sprout a week or so later than more recently developed Long Jing #43 cultivar. The reason #43 is becoming more popular is because the producers can get their product to market earlier than the traditional varietal, and the earlier the Long Jing gets to market, the higher the price it fetches. The producer who grows and processes this tea is a purist, and they insist on using the traditional cultivar because of its distinctively nutty and thick flavor and its appearance, which is more yellow-green in color than the very green #43.

Steeping Guideline:
Steeping this tea Gong-Fu style in a gaiwan works beautifully, and a more “Western” approach also yields very good results as long as you start out with lower temperature water to avoid extracting bitter flavor compounds. But, I highly recommend using a very informal “grandpa style” approach. Simply place a few pinches of the tea leaves in a highball glass, pour in 150-160 F water and let it steep until most of the leaves fall to the bottom. If any leaves remain on the top, simply blow them out of the way before drinking. Then, when you run out of water, just add more to the same batch of leaves. Keep enjoying and adding water until the flavor is gone.

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9 Tasting Notes

1737 tasting notes

I’d thought that I must have oversteeped my big pot of Norbu Xi Hu Long Jing, as the liquor was darker than usual and more yellow—almost gold—as well. Gazing out the window, I lost track of time while watching the Salvation Army guys load my donations onto the truck. I cringed as they threw bags containing English-style tea pots into the back. I certainly hope that none of them were crushed!

So today was a turning point. I am now officially into the tetsubin scene and out of the porcelain English-style scene. I was hemming and hawing about whether I could give them away, but then I did, and fortunately the big truck arrived before I could suffer donor’s remorse and remove the teapots from my front porch. I have given a huge volume of possessions away over the course of the past couple of months because I lost about two-thirds of my space when I moved, and I desperately need air space to be able to breath!

I used English teapots for a decent chunk of my life—supplemented by glass Bodum filter presses (intended for coffee). Of late, I’ve been using only the tetsubin because they not only keep the brewed tea drinkable longer (without reheating), but are also ideal for instantly cooling boiling water to green tea infusion temperature! In fact, they are so good at temperature reduction that I have taken the variable temperature kettle off my wish list!

Now back to today’s first POD (pot of the day). It turned out that I did not oversteep the Norbu Long Jing, as it was delicious. I drank two glasses right after my first meal of the day, a hunk of walnut bread (which I picked up at a farmer’s market yesterday) toasted and smeared with butter. Yum!

second infusion (after dinner): also very smooth and flavorful!

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Walnut bread with butter. Drool


It is tasty indeed, boychik—wish I could share some with you! ;-)


boychik, I was thinking the same thing: I want toasted walnut bread with butter.


you did without extra calories;)


Sorry that you had to get rid of some of your teaware, but congrats on the tetsubin! I have 3 but use only one for Sencha. Been using it for 2 years now and it’s amazing, the tea tastes so much better as it seasons, just like a yixing pot.


I accumulated so much teaware but I don’t think I could give it away. Kudos to you ! I should do the same.


It’s tough boychik, but I really need some breathing room, and my rule is supposed to be “give it away if you have not used it in a year”. Hard to believe, but I have not been using those ceramic pots for a long time… I hate to admit how many tetsubin I’ve accumulated… But at least I use them! ;-) I may assign one tea family to each tetsubin … just to give you an idea of the number I own. lol


I know the rule, just can’t follow. I got porcelain, ceramic, glass(not one ), then numerous gongfu glass, gaiwans, 2 Yixing and 1 in transit. I just hope I won’t catch Yixing fever. Must resist.

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