Longjing Shi Feng 1st Grade, is one of our most popular teas.
This lovely tea has a warm, toasty, slightly yeasty flavor with a hint of chestnut in the after-taste. While normally a 1st Grade Longjing will be overall ‘stronger’ and more forthright in flavor than the other Longjings that we offer, our 2016 1st Grade is a pre-Qing Ming pluck, so it possesses great clarity and pureness of flavor – more in the subtle style that the Chinese prefer.
Even so, this 1st Grade has that chestnut flavor and toasty underlying style that we love in a hearty Longjing. This and the Longjing from Weng-jia Shan are Tea Trekker’s bolder style Longjings.
We find a clear distinction between the style of Longjing that is highly-regarded in East Asia and that preferred in the West. In East Asia, subtlety and clarity, softness and sweetness are sought-after qualities in Longjing. In most of North America and Western Europe, a bolder, more nutty and assertive style of Longjing is preferred. Most of this year’s 2016 Longjings are more subtle than not – as they were last year.
Longjings have different flavor profiles due to influences (terroir) particular to the micro-climates that exist in and around the harvesting areas in the vicinity of West Lake (the origin of authentic Longjing) and the time of the pluck.
All of our Longjing teas are completely hand made and are pan-fired in charcoal-fired tea firing pans by artisans who are masters of their craft
Pre-Qing Ming teas are the first teas plucked each new spring season. Depending on the location and altitude in each tea producing region, leaf plucking can begin as early as the middle week of March and continue until April 5th.
Pre-Qing Ming teas command the highest prices because the demand for these teas outpaces the supply each year. This is especially true for the Famous Teas such as Long Ding and Longjing, and the fever for these teas hits in China as well as in the West.