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Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler
Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler

Dragon Eggs: A Dragonwell Cultivar Sampler

One River Tea

Regular price $32.00 Sale

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Welcome to the 2024 Dragon Eggs Dragonwell Sampler.

In this rendition of the annual Mingqian Longjing sampler, we are exploring the three main cultivars which constitute the Dragonwell Hype: Longjing #43, Longjing #108, and the Qunti Zhong.

Every year, while sampling these teas, we find it difficult to decide which cultivar is our favorite.  Before 2022, Longjing #43 was our favorite for its strength, its chestnut fragrances its buttered toast body and for its longevity.  In 2023, we fell in love with the moody and complex mother of all Longjing, the Qunti Zhong Heirloom cultivar, rich with hidden notes that unveil themselves to the attentive palate.  This year, in 2024, we discovered the blissful levity of the Longjing #108, it was so floral and refreshing that we had to remidn ourselves it was Dragonwell, however, it has the shortest life the three and we can only every get four good infusions out of it.

Thus, this year, we wanted to prepare a sampler for you.  Three cultivars of Longjing, all Mingqian and handmade from the White Crane Peak Core Region of Hangzhou's West-Lake, while this region technically is included in what is known as the Lion's Peak, its micro-region is much more specific to our recent sourcing escapades, and we find ourselves ever drawn back to its fragrant slopes.

In the box:
  • 5g Qunti Zhong (Mingqian, Handmade, White Crane Peak)
  • 5g Longjing #43 (Mingqian, Handmade, White Crane Peak)
  • 5g Longjing #108 (Mingqian, Handmade, White Crane Peak)

Each sample comes in a small black tin with three heat-sealed white bags of green tea marked with either QZ for Qunti Zhong, 43 for Longjing #43, or 108 for Longjing #108.  The goal of this sampler is to help you find our which of these three famous Dragonwell cultivars is your 'cup of tea'.  The best way to experience these teas is by participating in the presale before the picking even begins.  This guarantees the best price and the freshest tea leaves.  This sampler should help give you the confident clarity to order your favorite Mingqian Longjing next spring.

A little about the teas.

As many dragonwell green tea aficionados know Longjing #43 is the most common cultivar in the West Lake area, famous for its good yield, its nutty aroma, and its brewing longevity, it became wildly popular in the 1990s, however there are two other Dragonwell Cultivars one must be familiar with that come before and after the famous longjing #43.

Qunti Zhong is the heirloom Dragon Well varietal, meaning before the advent of cloning tea bushes to ensure 99.99% genetic similarities in bushes, the old Qunti bushes were seed propagated and are prone to having a more complex array of flavors and personalities.  As one tea master in Hangzhou put it “Qunti Zhong is the Longjing for ‘tea people’”.

A newer cultivar is the longjing #108 which was discovered in the early 2000s.  Researchers at the Hangzhou tea institute exposed the longjing #43 to gamma-rays inducing a genetic mutation.  This mutation as directed at flavor expression, and it worked!  Although perhaps this was only after 107 failed attempts… Longjing #108 is the X-man of Dragon Well and is prized for its full-flower orchid fragrance and little to no chestnut notes in its bouquet.

The recommended brewing parameters of these teas are to use 2.5 grams in a 100ml gaiwan and brew with 85 degree Celsius water.  These teas can be brewed in flash infusions for 6-8 times each.  

The other more commonly used method of brewing is via Grandpa Style (youtube tutorial here), which involved 2.5 grams of dry tea in an 8oz glass of hot water, drunk down 3/4ths empty then refilled with hot water two or three times.