mardi 12 juin 2012

Long Jing

From Mei Jia Wu village







                                                Mei Jia Wu, Long Jing tea garden




Let's start this new tea blog by tasting brand new chinese green tea from the 2012 spring harvest. A famous Xi Hu Long Jing would be pretty nice for my first "web tea tasting". I must admit that all this computer stuff is really unfamiliar to me. So, having a blog is quite an adventure! Tea is my profession and passion. But tea is much more than that. It's all about direct experience: tea life, tea spirit.



                                                         West Lake, Hangzhou, Zhejiang


So, let's come back to our Long Jing experience. I want to begin with this particular tea, because it's like an evidence: Long Jing shows how chinese teas are part of the human being's history in general, and China's culture in particular. It's not only a famous tea, it's a treasure.
The most important with Long Jing, is to have an authentic one: Xi Hu Long Jing, from the West Lake (Hangzhou, Zhejiang). It's the only way to know the real Long Jing taste, because we all know the importance of climate and "terroir". And in the hills near the city of Hangzhou, the special "terroir" and micro-climate makes the tea flavors intense, fresh, and nutty. Actually, all the chinese famous teas are copied outside of there original "terroir". You need to be very careful when buying these teas.



                                             Shi Feng, Long Jing tea garden

I buy my Long Jing in Mei Jia Wu village, where I know a very serious farmer. His family works in the traditional way since several generations. Some tea trees here have about 400 years of age. I generally choose green teas picked before Qing Ming (5 April). The one I'm tasting is from the 30th March 2012. What a delight!








                                        


      
It feels sweet and strong at the same time, with a great balance of flavors. A little something of chestnut in the after-taste, which is often the case with original Long Jing.






The actual way for brewing fresh green tea in China, is in a glass. This very simple brewing method not only produces wonderful results, it also shows that tea is all about SIMPLICITY. Of course, you can also use a zhong. But for fresh green tea, put the lid on, only for drinking. This kind of tea needs to breathe.






Beautiful buds and leaves dancing in the glass. They remind us of the beauty of nature in the early spring. Below, you can see the Long Jing processing.








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