Back when I started drinking loose leaf tea, I drank a lot of green tea because it’s really popular and fairly easy to buy. Discovering more kinds of tea has shown me that there is much more than green tea. That is why I rarely drink green tea nowadays. I prefer puerh and Liu Bao because there is a certain complexity in those teas that I haven’t encountered in green tea. Nevertheless, I wanted to drink one of my favourite green teas this morning: a first flush long jing from 2021.
2021 First Flush Long Jing
This 2021 First Flush Long Jing from Teasenz was kindly given to me several months ago. They contacted me and asked if I wanted to try some of their teas from the new harvest. I don’t really buy green tea myself anymore so it was the perfect opportunity to try some again.
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Xihu Long Jing or West lake Long Jing is one of the most popular kinds of Chinese tea. It has a very distinct shape; flat and green. If you have seen these leaves, you will instantly recognise them. There is a lot of fake tea and inauthentic long jing but the real deal comes from around the West Lake area in China’s Zhejiang province.
The one I’m drinking today is from 2021 and comes from Meijiawu village, which is one of the official Long Jing villages around the West Lake region. Picking is one bud – one leaf and one bud – two leaves.
- Water 80°C
- 5.1g for a 130ml porcelain gaiwan
Beautiful flat leaves with a uniform green colour. Nothing stands out and the leaves have a slight yellow hue. The aroma is super nutty with a hint of green.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): this one has a light yellow colour and looks thick. It starts out rather fresh but I’m also getting nutty flavours. The finish and aftertaste are really nutty and it’s very similar to roasted soybeans. Good infusion to start the session.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): this one feels really complex as a lot of going on at the same time. At the start, it feels really fresh and green, but this quickly changes into something sweet and nutty. The finish is green but the aftertaste is full of roasted soybeans. Really good!
Infusion 3 (25 sec): there is still an initial freshness, but it’s quickly replaced by a nuttiness. The finish and aftertaste are sweet and I’m also experiencing a slight astringency.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): the colour is a lot more yellow in this one. The flavours haven’t changed much but the initial freshness stays around for longer. The finish and aftertaste are still nutty. The sweetness reminds me a bit of dark sugar.
Infusion 5 (35 sec): the freshness has diminished and soybeans are coming through now from the middle onwards to the end. These flavours are very prominent in the aftertaste and it’s long-lasting.
Infusion 6 (40 sec): the flavours feel a bit faded, but it’s still an enjoyable tea. It’s very gentle at the start and slowly becomes nutty towards the finish. The aftertaste is not that prominent. There are also some delicious top notes with something fruity and a hint of citrus. Did not expect this, but it was really nice for a final infusion.
It had been a while since I had green tea, but this was a very nice session. It definitely reminded me of long jing I had a while ago. Most of the infusions were fresh/green at the start and became sweeter towards the end. There was also a nuttiness similar to roasted soybeans present towards the end of all infusions and that was delicious!
If you want to try this 2021 First Flush Long Jing, click here.