Our Dragonwell is an exceptional tea – a product of its terroir, early season handpicking and skilled craftsmanship.
The 1200m garden is tucked away in rural central Zhejiang – its 20 acres are nested in a mountainous region that is a three hour drive from the nearest urban center. The region’s remoteness and elevation is exceptionally clean and unmarred by pollution – and produces beautiful tea plants and perfect leaf buds.
This tea’s cultivar is also unique. The producer planted a variety closely related to another rare green tea from Northwestern Zhejiang called Anji Baicha. The buds are small and boast a brilliant green sheen with unique fruit and floral notes that are a welcome departure from the usual “toasty nutty” of typical Dragonwells.
Each tender leaf bud was handpicked in late March in the first harvest day of the season – then pan-fired in three stages by hand. Working in small batches of no more than two ounces, the leaves are first gently folded on the hot pan to halt oxidation, then pressed and flattened, and finally gently tossed again to reduce the leaves’ moisture content. Each batch requires approximately 45 minutes to complete.
The amount of work that went into producing a pound of our Dragonwell is staggering. A single gram of finished tea has over 60 handpicked leaf buds. A pound of it contains 29,000 buds, requiring almost a full day’s work to pan-roast by hand. But to cup this tea is to experience a green that will reset your expectations of what quality is for a green tea. Its texture is incredible – luscious and viscous while at the same time, delicate and bright. Its flavor notes dance between notes of watercress and toasted sunflower seed.
4 grams 150 ml 175° F 1 min
Few Dragonwells have the same round texture as this early harvest. Our brew guidelines, followed strictly, will produce a tea that best expresses this tea’s texture and mouth feel. We suggest pre-warming the tea brewing vessel, but avoid rinsing the leaves themselves. Instead, slowly pour water onto the leaves to ensure that each leaf is properly pre-moistened.
Notes of watercress and toasted sunflower seed.