Posted by: dan | July 1, 2009

the dragon king

DragonWellHeader(title with apologies to Monkey)

Dan: When we started this blog, we delved into a tea explorer set from Jing. After we’d reviewed a few of their teas, we were sent an extremely generous package from adagio, and suddenly we were fighting through a cavalcade of new teas to try. As such, we’ve not reviewed a Jing tea in a while. This is vastly unfair, as

a) Their teas are excellent, and deserve attention.
b) They were here first.

So we’ve come to apologise for our neglect: sorry Jing. I’m now going to try to make up for our behaviour a little bit by reviewing a tea I’ve been looking forward to for a while. The Organic Dragon Well green tea.

It seems appropriate that this is the first loose leaf tea I’ve had in my new home (the adagio was a teabag), as it’s another new experience, and one I’ve been anticipating greatly. I cut open the packet, and poured out a few leaves. They’re big, flat and intriguing.

It doesn't look like it's doing anything while infusing

It doesn't look like it's doing anything while infusing

Why intriguing? Well, the smell is faint, and seems to be of nothing other than green tea. With most teas I’ve come across, there are other scents mingling with the familiar tea smell, but this seems to have no other characteristics at all. That’s a little disappointing, I thought.

I put the recommended tbsp/cup in to my teapot, and whacked my kettle on to 70 degrees (I love my new kettle) as it instructs on the packet. The smell becomes a little more pronounced while brewing, though another oddity appears: the colour of the water doesn’t seem to change at all. It looks more like a white tea than a green, even though I followed the instructions exactly! Did I do something wrong? That’s a little disappointing, I thought.

So I took a taste test at the 3 minute mark (the recommended full infusing time) to see if it needed any longer.

It didn’t. There’s no colour, but there’s plenty of flavour. That’s not remotely disappointing, I thought. In fact, that’s rather tasty. So I pushed down the plunger to cease the infusing, and poured a full cup. And still there was no colour, and little aroma. But the taste is perfect. It’s a lovely, almost pure green tea. It has a slight smack of sweetness, but it’s such a light flavour, there’s not much more that can be said about it. Except that it’s highly delectable, and perfect for relaxing with. Which is what I did (with Andrew Bird as a musical accompaniment), and I shall certainly do so again.

~some time later~

It still looks like water!

It’s been a while since I wrote the above review, and since then, I’ve bought a packet of the new Dragon Well, picked in April this year (not the Pre-Rain stuff that we gave away in our competition, as I couldn’t afford that among all the other teas and things I bought). So how does it compare?

Well, it’s still as delicious, but it’s crisper, clearer (somewhat amazingly, it looks even more like water), and has a much fresher feel to it. Getting it early seems to improve the quality a substantial amount. The flavour is fuller, more rounded, and endlessly smooth. You should all know how much I love white teas by now, with particular attention to Silver Needle teas. Well, this is on a par in terms of quality (obviously the flavours are different, and they each have different things to offer), and is a tea which I keep returning to, as I promised I would a few weeks back while writing the review in the first half of this post. I highly recommend it, and now that Ben’s getting into white teas (at last), I shall force him to try some too. And so should you.

Dan was drinking Jing’s Dragon Well, available at £6.90 for 50g loose leaf.

P.S. Jing have been creating a series of videos about their teas, available on their blog. Their latest, coincidentally, is this Dragon Well, and I’ve embedded it here for your perusal!


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Responses

  1. Love your blog… esp your attention to the detail of tasting. And such a great video form Jing!

    • Thanks very much! I like to focus on the flavour, as it the main point of the tea. That said, I always love the build-up to it as well. The building anticipation that comes with brewing a new type of tea is great.

      Jing’s videos are well done, I think. Instead of taking the marketing route of shouting about how good the tea is, they just explain how the tea is made and the care and attention given to preparation.


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