A customer in United States once told us that a wealthy Chinese colleague sent him some Longjing from Hangzhou(1), but “the tea could not match ( Longjing ) Spring Equinox”. If you ever travelled to that origin of the hand-roasted green tea, you probably noticed that it universally costs higher there than our shop for any respectable quality.
If that is not a surprise for you, well here is the good news: this year we have worked real hard to make Longjing Spring Equinox even better. Even more aromatic, smoother, sweeter, livelier, at the same old price.
The batch has rested enough(2) now since its roasting on March 29. This time we have reserved a small amount to have our old tea master friend to wrap the tea in the old fashioned way. 250g ( half a jin )(3) in a double kraft paper wrap. Although the paper material is modernised with lamination for better protection, the look is still what it used to look like when I bought my first half-jin of the tea on the shore of West Lake ( Xihu )(4) in 1980.
And the great smell of the dry leaves too. This nostalgic, unique, freshly roasted Longjing olfactory delight. That is why we have not put the batch into cold storage yet. This particular fragrance will be subdued after we do(5). So if you’d like to experience that same sensation I had 39 years ago that opened my senses for this green tea, you have until April 25 ( HK Time ) get it before we have to protect its flavour by refrigeration. Heat in tropical Hong Kong gets serious in May.
- Hangzhou is the origin for Longjing green tea.
- Why do we need to rest Longjing? This article covers a bit of that: https://www.teahong.com/2017/04/27/longjing-is-earlier-better/
- A jin is a measuring unit for weight in Mainland China. Since Mao’s era, it has been made equal to 500g.
- It is believed that the area around Xihu — West Lake — in Hangzhou that Longjing tea was first produced a few centuries ago. Dragon Well is the name of an actual place there. Today this area is still crown as the origin for the best Longjing.
- This is not to be confused with the aroma of the infusion. The scent of tea liquid will not be affected because of cold storage. It is actually protected this way.