Chasing the dragon?

In my opinion, the best response to a day-long compulsion to drink Longjing (龙井, Dragon Well) is to yield to it as soon as possible. Longjing is a tea that I prefer to savor with full attention, so it is not typically a tea that I would drink while I am working. So the earlier part of the day held the desire, but not the conditions for a cup of this famous Chinese green tea. But this evening when I was at home, I had both readily available, so I located the 1st Grade Dragon Well that I got from Teas Etc. and brewed some at the Gongfu table.

Longjing is a tea traditionally brewed in glass. I used a glass gaiwan, glass faircup and glass cups. Glass has a neutral impact on the tea and also displays the rich green, distinctively flat leaves to nice effect.

There are plenty of poor quality Dragon Well teas on the market, and they won’t provide much of an experience of what this tea can be when it’s good. The Longjing that Teas Etc. sells is a very nice one, typical of good quality Longjing, and one that I would recommend to anyone who has been interested in trying this legendary tea.

This particular Longjing is from Long Jing Village in Zhejiang Province, which is the only legitimate place that can produce a true Longjing Cha. It is a pre-Qing Ming tea, which means it is plucked before the Qing Ming festival in early spring. It is best enjoyed with a soundtrack of Purcell ground bass as reinterpreted by Michael Nyman, along with a profound sense of satisfaction at fulfilling a daylong desire for a particular delicious tea.


  1. I just had a mediocre dragonwell myself; it was one of the few loose teas I’ve tried lately that was really not worth drinking.

    It’s funny, my mom dislikes most green tea, and she also tends to prefer teas that are more bitter and less sweet, but she likes dragon well more than most green teas, which puzzles me.

    I was not aware that this tea is normally brewed in glass, but I’ve seen people brewing it in glass (and not just on tea blogs). That’s interesting.

  2. I’m curious about brewing tea in glass as well. If brewing in glass leaves an impact on the tea, perhaps I will try it with finer teas which I really enjoy.

    Too many times the flavor of my tea has been slightly altered through the use of traditional teapots..