Description: This top grade Da Fo Long Jing is from Xin Chang County in Eastern Zhejiang province, China. Xin Cang County, is one of the cradles of Chinese Buddhism with over 1,000 years of green tea production history. 1,600 years ago, Da Fo (Big Buddha) Temple was built on the highest peak of Tiantai Mountain (1,138 meters high). They built a statue of Buddha that is 16.3 meters tall and 10.6 meters wide. This region use to produce large quantities of everyday grades of green tea (Gunpowder, Buddha’s Eyebrow, etc.) but not much profit was being made. In the mid 90’s, the government decided to invite Dragon Well tea masters to Xin Cang, as well as traveling to study how to make high end green teas by hand. The brand name “Big Buddha” was approved by Xin Cang County’s government in 2002, hence the name of this particular Dragon Well variety.
This top grade early season first-picking known as Ming Qian or Pre-Qingming (or Before Ching Ming) Longjing tea requires it to be produced from the first spring shoots prior to the Qingming Festival on the 5th of April each year. The production cycle is very short, usually only ten days before Qingming every year. Our top grade Dafo is mde of tender buds which yield a range of complex and delicate flavors, vegetal, floral, grassy. It contains a richer concentration of nutrients like amino acids and a lower concentration of astringent-tasting catechins than later pickings. This new spring tea is all about a fine and subtle sweetness, and a long, drawn out aftertaste and crisp texture.
The flat appearance is a hallmark of this type of tea and is the result of hand pressing. The dried leaves are a mixture of lime-green and yellow hues, and smelled sweetly-toasty. All of them are whole, made of tender short buds only. The brewed tea has a light yellow color, and also smelled sweetly-toasty; the flavor is very similar, with sweet, nutty, and toasty notes. The flavors are more pronounced than some other premium Longjing teas, and each sip is very smooth. The second brew has a strong sweet fresh odour that is very distinctive. the odour should persist and intensify after infusion in hot water. The leaves revert back to their original natural shapes. The third brew smells more floral than the other brews, but retained the same flavor as the second. The green vibrancy is mellowed out with a wonderfully subtle nutty sweetness that brings out an overall roundness. The brew is very floral, nutty, and vegetal.
1. Fill your gaiwan (or glass) about halfway with hot water to pre-heat it. Tilt the cup a bit so that the water creeps up the side and then rotate it so the inside gets wet all the way around. Then pour the water out.
2. Cover the bottom of the gaiwan with a shallow layer of dry leaves. You will need approximately 1 teaspoon. Use twice this amount if you are brewing your tea in an 8oz glass.
3. Fill the gaiwan about one third of the way with hot water. The temperature should be below boiling; around 80°C (176°F) is ideal.
4. Tilt the cup a bit and rotate, so that the leaves get wet all over. Then add more hot water until the gaiwan is 80-90% full.
5. Place the lid on the gaiwan and let the tea steep for 2-3 minutes. It is ready to drink when most of the leaves have sunk to the bottom of the cup.
6. When you get down to about one quarter of the tea remaining, refill the gaiwan with hot water of the same temperature as before and let it steep for 3 minutes.
7. You can get 5-6 infusions out of this Dragon Well Teas. Increase the steeping time 30 seconds to one minute for each infusion.