First Flush Longjing Tea (Ming Qian)

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A first flush Longjing tea picked in early spring. An exceptional quality rarely seen outside of China.

A rare find

The Xihu Longjing, also known as the West Lake Dragon Well, is without a single doubt the most popular green tea in China. But success is a double edged sword, as it's getting harder and harder to find an authentic and original Longjing these days. Our journey has brought us all the way to source: Meijiawu, one of the official longjing villages in the West Lake region. We proudly present you our delicate longjing tea that produces a light brew with a soft and sweet flavor that lasts. Consisting only out of one bud one leaf and one bud two leaf pickings. A rare find.

The thee rules of the perfect pick

Timing: famers are very 'picky' about picking leaves early. As soon as the buds are ripe in early spring the picking starts. There is a saying in Chinese "茶叶是个时辰草,早采三天是个宝,迟采三天变成草", which translates into: timing is everything, start 3 days earlier and you're picking treasure, start 3 days later and it turns into grass.
Tender: go for the most tender leaves with one bud one leaf or one bud two leaves. The right raw materials form the foundation of an excellent longjing.
Frequency: buds grow out of the tea plants day after day in spring. Tea farmers usually pick every single day or once in two days to make sure they harvest more. Usually leaves a picked for about 30 days in a year, with the best leaves from early spring before the ming festival.

Longjing green tea processing

Right after picking, the leaves are dried in the shadow. This drying process reduces the bitter taste of the leaves.

While for most other types of tea a process of rolling/rubbing follows to shape the tea, this isn't the case for longjing. The farmer instead keeps the natural shape in tact by leaving out this processing step. Another way to see this is that the shaping step, in fact, is integrated in the frying phase that follows. This step consist of 10 different manual hand movements that eventually shape the leaves into their flat form.

This process of drying and frying is repeated until the water content has reduced to a desired level before it's ready for storage or consumption.

The dance of the dragons


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