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Longjing Dragonwell green tea

Enter the Dragonwell

A Qi Aerista Brewing Note

Many tea lovers believe that Dragonwell (aka Longjing) is among the finest and purest of all green teas. Earlier this spring, we visited Longjing village in eastern China to take a close-up look at authentic Dragonwell that has been cultivated and processed on site. Our local host Mr. Wang offered us several packs of the prized pre-Qingming Dragonwell he had personally pan-fried as our parting gifts.

Mr. Wang (left) with Rick (right) at the Dragonwell Village Tea Plantation

Mr. Wang (left) with Rick (right) at the Dragonwell Village Tea Plantation

A few weeks ago we finally got a chance to set up the first ever Dragonwell encounter for Qi Aerista. The first sniff upon opening the package revealed an unbelievably rich smell of fresh green tea with a slightly toasted flavor, a characteristic stemmed from Longjing’s pan-frying process.

Manually Pan-Fried Pre-Qingming Dragonwell

Manually Pan-Fried Pre-Qingming Dragonwell

The tea-to-water ratio we have tried is 2g to 100mL (or 0.07oz to 3.5 fl oz). So in total we have prepared 10g (or 0.35oz) of Dragonwell with 500mL (or 22.5 fl oz) of water. Brew time is set at 80 degC (or 176 degF) for 3 minutes. After pressing start, Qi Aerista heats the water to the preset temperature in less than 3 minutes.

Heating up to 80 degC (176 degF)

Heating up to 80 degC (176 degF)

Afterwards, the brewing unit kicks in and circulates the water through the tea leaves for the preset brewing time of 3 minutes. Our improved infuser have increased water levels by as much as 50% to ensure full tea leaf immersion to release the true tea flavors. The incredible smell of fresh Longjing naturally permeates out and fills the room, thanks to Qi Aerista’s unique brewing process.

Brewing in process

Brewing in process

The first sip of Longjing made by Qi Aerista is memorable, which brings forth a good balance of freshness (umani), fragrance and astringency. The lingering good aftertaste made us finish the first brew in no time. We’ve tried adding more water for a second brew and the taste results are similar. This means the quality of the Longjing from Mr. Wang indeed is excellent because lower grade Longjing seldom can sustain for a good second brew.

Serve and Enjoy!

Serve and Enjoy!

We can’t wait for next spring to bring Qi Aerista up the hills of Longjing Village for a fresh brew!

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