Longjing translates as “Dragon’s Well” in Chinese. This green tea originates from the mountains surrounding West Lake in the Zhejiang province of China. The leaves are hand-fired in a large wok immediately after picking and have an appearance of smooth flat green leaves with pointed ends, resembling a sparrow's tongue. According to legend, the tea was named because a dragon that lived in a well near West Lake Village saved the village by bringing rain after a long drought.
This special grade West Lake Longjing is picked in spring. Zhejiang Longjing tea leaves are flat and smooth in shape, the seedlings are sharpened, the buds are longer than the leaves. The tea color is clear not turbid. The brewed tea is very fragrant, mild tasting and bright yellow green. Taste is refreshing or strong, sweet and nutty, smooth and rich with slight vegetal undertones.
As the grades of Longjing tea decline to lesser grades, the color changes from light green to dark green, the tea leaf changes from small to large, and the tea quality changes from smooth to rough “the fragrance changes from tender to thick.” The fourth grade tea begins to have a rough taste. The bottom of the leaf turns from tender buds to the opposite leaf, and the color changes from light yellow→green-green→yellowish brown.
Store the tea in the airtight, opaque packaging in a cool, dry place. The shelf life is 18 months.