Hey there Teacups! I hope you’re doing well, I’m back today with another Stateside Steeps post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Masters Teas – 2019 Shi Feng Long Jing. I’ve had such fantastic experience with Masters Teas so far and actually in the later half of this year they’ve been inspiring me to get out my gaiwan and spend some time with the tea and focus on nothing but preparing it and experiencing the tea and everything it has to offer. Obviously they can also be steeped western style but you really get the most out of them when you brew them gong fu style.
Here’s what Masters Teas themselves have to say about this particular tea over on their website: “Our 2020 Shi Feng Long Jing, which translates to Lion’s Peak Dragonwell, is one of the most famous green teas in China. It hails from the equally famous and historic West Lake area in Hangshou, Zhejiang province. This Shi Feng Long Jing is a pre-Qing Ming Festival, and so its early spring harvest results in a tender, young plucking. The liquor is a pale yellow, with a soft, sweet chestnut aroma.”
“This Shi Feng Lung Jing is grown at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level in Zhejiang, China. Grown from the #43 longjing cultivar, his hand-plucked variety has a standard of one bud and one or two, three cm long leaves. which were harvested in early April 2020. The firing time and temperature is determined by the tea master and depends solely on the tenderness of the leaves at that time and is repeated one additional time. Compared with other Lung Jings, this one has a flatter, lighter appearance.”
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session I brewed this gong fu style so I only tried it on its own. I know I normally experiment with teas but with pure teas like this I don’t like to experiment and add anything to them. I like to savour them and really make the most of the leaves and everything they have to offer. In terms of steeping times there were no instructions of the sachet I had so I went off what was on the website and did my first steep with this for two and a half minutes with water that was at 76°C, with every steep after that I added on 30 seconds to the steeping time and I managed to do 6 steeps total in my 250ml gaiwan.
I was hesitant to get excited about the chestnut notes this tea promised on the description on the packet but as soon as I opened it I was hit with a sweet chestnut aroma and was so surprised, I never would have expected a note like that in a tea like this and all it did was amp up my excitement and make me even more eager to jump into the tasting session tasting session .
Steep 1) The first infusion was pale yellow in colour, with a mostly grassy aroma to it but there was an ever so slight chestnut note hidden in there as well. Taste wise this first infusion was quite a subtle cup of green tea with mostly sweet grassy notes but there was also a tiny fruity like note to it somewhat reminiscent of fruit like pineapple it didn’t taste like pineapple but it had that trademark pineapple like tanginess and bite to it. The nuttiness that was in the aroma wasn’t present in the taste which was a little bit disappointing, but nevertheless I still enjoyed this tea. Out of all of the Dragonwell teas I’ve tried this one is definitely one of the most unique ones I’ve had. It’s smooth, complex and clean and I’m so glad I did a gaiwan tasting session with this because I don’t think I would have gotten nearly as much from it if I had steeped it western style .
Steeps 2) & 3) – The reason I have grouped these two steeps together is because they were incredibly similar and nothing much really changed between the two of them aside from the vegetal notes getting strong and the sweetness getting a little duller, there was also a little less of that tanginess in these steeps but it was still marvellous cup of a tea to drink, still very smooth and clean but towards the end of the third steep I did start to notice a slight dryness in the back of my mouth and throat however it didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all. It was in the third steep I also started the notice the apricot esque note Adagio speak about in there description. When I didn’t taste it in the first steep I was a little sad as that note in a green tea like this sounded like it would have been amazing , so I’m really glad it same out even though though was quite subtle.
Steeps 4) 5) & 6) – Again the reason I grouped these last three steeps together is because they were all incredibly similar again aside from the fact that by the time I had made it to the 6th steep most of it’s notes were starting to get a little too subtle for me and I knew it was time to stop. Steep 4 and 5 were delicious though the vegetal notes again started were stronger, still very much like sweet grass, hay like, again they were very smooth and clean but that dryness that came through in the third steep was present but I expected it this time around. That apricot note was somewhat present but ideally if that note had been a little stronger that would have been fantastic but you can’t have it all . The thing I did start to notice in these steeps is that tanginess and bite it had started to despite and wasn’t present at all in the 6th steep.
Overall I really enjoyed this tea and it’s a favourite out of all of the Dragonwells I have tried this year. It’s one I would love to try future harvest of and one I would love to always have in my tea collection. If you’re a Dragonwell lover I would highly recommend giving this tea a go but I have no doubt in my mind you would love it and how unique it is. At the end of this tasting session I was also greeted with another Tea-Moji instead of a smile like last time this one seem to replicate how I’ve been feeling the last few days with a very drained / tired expression, they do say tea understands everything and I’ve definitely noticed that in the last few gong fu sessions I’ve done.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Adagio’s Masters Teas and purchase some of either the 2019 or 2020 harvest of this tea you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*