Long Jing (Lung Ching /Dragon Well) is certainly one of the most known Chinese green tea. It has been loved by many emperors and served to world leaders when they visit China.
With its distinct flat sword shape, Long Jing’s olivy and smooth taste makes it a very nice cup to start exploring good Chinese green tea. Long Jing balances the richness in food such as Salmon and Spring Rolls.
Long Ching originates from Xi Hu(West Lake), Hangzhou.
As Lung Jing is loved by many, there are many grades available and a lot of them are from non-government designated Long Jing plantation in Zhejiang.
Long Jing represents a new era of Chinese tea enterprise. Why? Because the “true” Long Jing has to be made from the 5 government designation Long Jing plantations – Shi Feng, Cloud, Tiger, Mei Jia Wu and Dragon Well . This branding of Long Jing is almost “un-Chinese” as Chinese is big on copying, and Chinese rates quality over authenticity. In an other words, I shall quote some of the Chinese tea suppliers we have come across when we asks whether their Long Jing is authentically from Long Jing designated region, “Don’t worry. It tastes good.”.
As long as it tastes nice, most Chinese is ok forgo whether it is from its origin.
So going back to this rule of Long Jing from government designated region – if it is made from the next door neighbouring town, say, ZheJiang, then no no, it can’t be called Long Jing.
If this reminds you of how the French is trying to market the uniqueness of Champagne, you are not alone.
Brewing Long Jing is simple, but too often we see it done wrong. To start your water cannot be boiling. Boiling water kills any green tea (except the bad ones, well they are just unrescueable).
1 teaspoon / 3g of tea per cup. After the water is boiled pour it into a cup first to cool the water slightly. Then immediately pour the water onto the tea leaves to make the tea. Steep for 1 minute.
The leaves can be reused for another brew or two. Leaves 1/3 tea in the teapot pour in hot water and steep extra 30-40 seconds for each subsequent brew. This ensures every cup has a decent amount of flavour, without over brewing.
Boiling water will burn the leaf and cause bitterness! Green tea tastes the best without over-brewing.
I shall conclude this article with a comment perhaps true for many other teas as well. Once you have tried the good grade, you can’t go back to the “supermarket grade”.