Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lion Xi Hu Long Jing

Tea: Lion Xi Hu Long Jing "Dragonwell" (2012 First Flush)

Vendor: Tea Spring

I have had this tea previously (2010 First Flush) I believe.  I don't remember much from my experience with it, but I feel like something drastic has changed since the last time I had it.  Perhaps it is my palate has become more snobbish and this tea isn't up to par anymore.  Maybe the 2010 harvest was a much better harvest.  Or maybe I just don't know how to make this tea well anymore.  Whatever the reason I found this tea to be missing much, especially since I remember the last harvest I had being very good.

Dry leaf.  Uneven firing or discolored leaf on top.
The dry leaves are very flat, but don't appear to be very uniform in appearance like LJ usually is.

A lot of variety in the shape and size of leaf.

I would very much like to buy something a bit more authentic than this one day.  This tea is obviously not the "real deal", but that isn't to say it isn't drinkable.  I once made the mistake of buying a tin of "Dragonwell" at a local grocer.  It was 50g for $10 and it was horrendous.  This isn't nearly as bad.

The leaves have a pleasant sweet and vegetal aroma, a typical Chinese green tea smell.

The first infusion tastes very sweet and is quite aromatic.  The liquor tastes of sweet rice, sugar snap peas and artichoke.  There is no bitterness to speak of.

The second infusion brings out a spicy almost cinnamon like smell in the liquor.  I detect a faint nutiness in the taste.  The brew is still sweet with a little grassiness now.

Second infusion.

By the third brew the taste is diminishing a lot more, and some bitterness seems to be creeping in on the edges of each sip.  The notes of sweet rice and steamed peas are center stage.

Alex: Where's my cup daddy?

The subsequent infusions bring nothing different and all I get is a flat tasting tea with little aroma.  This tea didn't have much to say it seems.  The tea is very lackluster to me, but maybe I just don't know how to brew it.  I tried using very short infusions and longer infusions during two different sessions and both weren't very effective.

A crack in my tea tray I discovered during this session.  -.-

Next time I go down the path of LJ I am going for something a bit more authentic.  Before then I will keep learning what I can of Chinese greens so I can brew them with more confidence.

Fourth or fifth infusion.

Unfortunately I don't have any other teas to review until my package from Yunnan Sourcing gets here.  I wish I had an estimate on that, but at this point I think they lost my package.  On top of that my emails to them seem to get sucked into a black hole, never to be heard from again.  -.-

Spent leaves in gaiwan.

Anyway thanks for reading.  Cheers.


  1. Awww..... sorry to hear that the LJ didn't brew up well for you. Unfortunately, with so many variables, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. And, as you said, maybe it was just a bad year. I know the LJ from Dao Tea (05 tea now) had a "sweet spot" of about 155 degrees for 6-9 second infusions. It took almost the whole 50g, and two people mussing about until that little secret was unlocked.

    Maybe your LJ has a little secret as well. Hope it becomes better!

  2. The leaves look pretty problematic - lots of redness, for a green tea, and looks low to medium grade, at best. I don't seem to see this on Teaspring's website though