Tea Trekker is happy to introduce our Longjing Xihu 2017 Yu Qian to our collection of fine Longjing teas. This year was a good year to re-introduce this regional specialty because it is a good example of the effect that unsettled weather has on the fresh buds and leaf of a tea plant.
The 2017 harvest of green teas in eastern China was significantly late this season, although not as delayed as the white tea harvest in some of the neighboring traditional white-tea-growing areas. For the Longjing teas harvested from the traditional region around Hangzhou, the leaf is fairly normal in appearance, but there are certain signs that indicate a late harvest. Visually, the 2017 harvest Longjing leaf is generally larger and more varied in size & shape this year. The color is bright and lush green in color, although some has the coloration that tends more to the lighter ‘straw’ color. While the season started out dry and late, there were significant rains about the time that harvest normally begins, so picking that was delayed took on a richer color due to this increase in moisture.
Taste-wise and aroma-wise, Tea Trekker’s Longjing Xihu 2017 tea is delicious. It has the signature taste of an authentic Longjing that combines a toastiness, nuttiness, and rich, smooth flavor with a vegetal freshness that is lively and spirited. From the first sip of the initial steeping right through to the lingering taste of the last cup of the final steeping, Longjing Xihu fills the palate with satisfying flavor.
It has a bright snap if you steep it just a little bit longer than 2 minutes for a first steeping, or it is smooth as silk if you stop the first steeping at 90 seconds. The second steeping is far better than you probably expect and we even squeeze a third steeping from these flavor-packed leaves by using less water than for the first two steepings – but don’t steep it too long!
Longjing Xihu is also extremely refreshing if allowed to cool and then drunk when almost cold. What a fabulous palate refresher.
Longjing tea is the pride of Zhejiang Province where it has been made for many centuries. This fine Longjing is plucked in tea gardens located within the Xi Hu designated Longjing region in Xin Chang county, although not specific to any one village or garden.
There is a long history of tea cultivation and tea drinking in this region: much of it began centuries ago to supply the needs of the resident monks and visiting scholars at the Buddhist Temples of the region going back to the 4th century BC.
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.
This Longjing was harvested just after the break between Qing Ming and Yu Qian due to the late harvesting in the region this year. It has many traditional characteristics of both periods and is especially delicious this year, we think. The moisture content was perfect for the pan-firing that Longjing receives and the finish firing ‘set’ the leaf well for long storage and easy drinking.
Want to know more?