Notes of tahini, espresso bean, and geranium leaf.
Green tea from Zhejiang, China・April 2018・鳩坑種龍井・Organic
Jiukeng Dragonwell is made from a traditional, lesser known cultivar that predates the more prolific and common #43. This tea’s intensity and richness is characteristic of old style Dragonwell in weight and robustness.
Among the different cultivars used to craft Dragonwell, jiukeng is one of the earliest, only predated by an even lesser known cultivar called wuniaozao. From these early cultivars, tea growers began to isolate plants that produced either better flavor, prettier leaves, or that were more adaptable to climatic extremes. Each successive generation overtakes previous generations: so much so that today, longjing #43, itself bred from the jiukeng cultivar, has rendered many other cultivars nearly obsolete. We were intrigued enough by this tea’s origin story that we added it to the collection.
This tea comes from the same 1200m organic northern Zhejiang garden from which we source our White Dragonwell. The garden is remote, accessible via a single path that meanders through rows of loosely clustered tea plants. No fertilizer, herbicides, or pesticides are used on this organic farm, and limited infrastructure means the plants are effectively dry-farmed. The region’s remoteness and elevation produces sweet and complex teas.
The leaves for this tea were individually hand-picked. A single gram of finished tea has over 60 handpicked leaf buds. There are 30,000 buds in 500g of tea. Like our White Dragonwell, each batch was carefully roasted in 3 stages. First the tea was fired to stop further enzymatic breakdown, it was then pressed and shaped, and finally pan-roasted to dry. The entire production process took 40 minutes to complete.
The finished result is a robust, traditional Dragonwell, rich and intense, yet stopping short of bitterness or astringency.
Brew: 4 grams・150 ml・185° F・1 min
Jiukeng Dragonwell brews with more intensity than our White Dragonwell. We’re suggesting the same brew parameters to highlight the difference between the two. This tea’s richness and complexity should be embraced, Use the same 1 minute brew time for all subsequent re-steepings of this tea.