Dragonwell (NH1006) Green Tea from Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-Tech Co. Ltd.

On the evening of September 3rd of 2013, my journey through the world of tea tasting took me to the mountainous regions of China, where the tea bushes used for the famous Dragonwell style of Chinese green teas flourish. This particular sample of Dragonwell green tea was provided by Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-Tech Co. Ltd.

Although I was not provided any useful information on this particular sample of tea, http://www.travelchinaguide.com states that Dragonwell tea is generally grown in the following areas of China: West Lake, Shifeng Peak, Meijiawu region, Hupao, Longjing Village,  and Yunxi Mountain. This type of green tea was once reserved strictly for consumption by Chinese emperors. This style of green tea can be called by several names, such as Longjing and Lungching.

Should I be provided with more specific information on this particular sample,  I will be sure to revise this post. In the meantime, let the journey begin…

Date: 09/03/2013

Product Name: Dragonwell Green Tea (NH1006)

Purchased From: Changsha Nutrahealth Bio-Tech Co. Ltd.

Origin: Very likely from Zhejian Province,  China.

Type of Tea: Chinese Green

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

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Aroma: Vegetal, woody (burnt wood), nutty (roasted chestnuts). Very unique aroma.

Dryness: Moderately dry. Leaves crack easily in to large crumbles.

Color: Light to dark green, few brown spots.

Texture: Smooth, dry, flattened leaves.

Size, Shape, Length: Average length of 1 inch (25.4 mm). Longest leaf about 1.25 inches (31.75 mm). Flattened leaves.

Unique Characteristics: Many full, smaller leaves. Appears to be two leaves and bud. Some fragments. Brown spots suggest slight oxidation during processing. Different sizes and shapes of leaves suggest that leaves may have been blended from different farms.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water: 30 ounces (887 ml) – Yes, I am in the mood to drink a large quantity of tea tonight. Let’s hope it is good!

Amount of Tea: 15 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

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Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 1 Minute and 0 seconds

Aroma: Vegetal (fresh cut grass), nutty (roasted chestnuts). Very full aroma.

Color: Bright yellow-green. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Mouth-filling taste of fresh cut grass and roasted chestnuts.  Moderate astringency. Vegetal aftertaste. Nice balance.

Comments: This is one of the better tasting Dragonwell teas that I have had. The taste is full and well balanced. The color and aroma are also more attractive than other Dragonwells that I have had. I am quite satisfied with this tea thus far.

Second Infusion:

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Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 1 Minute and 15 seconds

Aroma: Roasted chestnuts, fresh cut grass, burnt wood.

Color: Bright yellow-green. Slightly darker than the 1st infusion. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Slightly stronger overall than the 1st infusion. Mouth-filling, moderate astringency, roasted chestnuts and fresh cut grass. Vegetal aftertaste.

Comments: Richer, fuller taste than the 1st infusion. Fuller mouth feel. It appears that 15 seconds made a significant impact on the liquor.

Third Infusion:

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Water Temperature: 175ºF (79.4ºC)

Infusion Time: 1 Minute and 30 seconds

Aroma: Slightly lighter than 2nd infusion. Fresh cut grass is more apparent, roasted chestnuts is lighter.

Color: Light yellow-green. Clear. Transparent.

Taste: Lighter overall. Fresh cut grass is most apparent. Slight roasted chestnuts. Less astringency. Lighter mouthfeel and aftertaste.

Comments: There was a very obvious difference between the 2nd and 3rd infusions despite the longer infusion time of the 3rd. The aroma, color, and taste were all significantly lighter in the 3rd infusion. I would not expect a 4th infusion to be worthwhile.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

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Color: Uniform lively green.

Aroma: Fresh cut grass and slight roasted chestnuts.

Size, Shape: Much variation in leaves. Many full leaves, but also many clippings and fragments. Some are two leaves and bud, others are one leaf and bud, some buds only. Some leaves with no stem whatsoever. Leaves are quite delicate, with almost no durability.

Unique Characteristics: The variation in leaf characteristics certainly suggests that this sample is a mix of Dragonwell style teas from multiple farms, or multiple grades of leaves, or both. Not that this is a bad thing, but it is noticeable. Other than that, the leaves appear fresh and lively, and there are many ni e leaves, buds, and shoots. Leaves are very delicate, suggesting that they are exhausted.

Final Comments: The first two infusions of this Dragonwell tea were among the best tasting sips of this variety of tea that I have had. I was very surprised by the fact that the 2nd infusion was stronger than the 1st infusion. The third infusion was not as good. This particular sample appears to be a mix of Dragonwell teas from multiple sources. This mix of teas helps to improve the quality of the infusion, and keep the cost of the product at an affordable level. I recommend this product to any retailer who wants a good tasting Dragonwell tea to offer.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.

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