Longjing Meijiawu Village
Sold out for 2013
Look for 2014 tea in Spring
- Green tea
- Meijiawu Village, Xi Hu Region, Zhejiang Province, China
- Single farm, single harvest
- Pressed, flat leaf style
- Sweet vegetal flavors layered over traditional light toastiness
- Fresh, indulgent, early spring aroma
- Straw-colored liquor tending towards gold
Use 4 teaspoons (2-3 grams) per 6 oz of water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each.
Water temperature should be 170° - 180° F
This batch of Yu Qian Longjing Meijiawu Village tea is a welcome treat and a little easier on the pocketbook than the more costly pre-Qing Ming Longjing Meijiawu Village tea. ( 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 continuesuntil April 5th. The plucking season that follows right after this period - Yu Qian - continues and ends before April 20th).
Our batch of this tea was made in the week of April 8th, so, it is just a few days older than the teas plucked at the end of pre-Qing Ming. Which makes this batch of tea especially appealing. It has a disarmingly clean and fresh aroma, and an instantly recognizable, soft, sweet Longjing flavor.
Pre-Qing Ming teas command the highest prices because the demand for these teas outpace the supply each year. This is especially true for the Famous Teas such as Longjing Meijiawu Village, and the fevered pitch for these teas shows no letup in sight.
Why ? Because in addition to demand for these teas from the West, demand is increasing in China from China's newly affluent middle class. Yes, many adult Chinese are only now discovering the scope of China's famous teas and various aspects of their unique tea culture for the first time. As crazy as this sounds, Chinese tea drinkers are now competing with everyeone else for their teas and it is creating pricing pressure on seasonal teas that are already only produced in limited quantities.
We believe that our tea enthusiast customers will find this tea very pleasing. Whereas pre-Qing MIng teas are very light and delicate in flavor (sometimes 'ethereal' in nature) Yu Qian teas are more substantive in flavor and have a richer mouthfeel. This makes sense as the leaf is plucked from one to two weeks later, and there is more ' juice' in the leaves.
We were convinced to sample this tea when our Chinese tea guy confessed to us: " Well, Yu Qian is the Longjing Meijiawu Village tea that my family and everyone else I know drinks. We wait each year for this one. It's better - more flavor."
This Longjing is comprised of a classic two-leaves and a bud pluck, and has the appearance of a carefully made, hand-shaped, pan-fired tea. It possesses a combination of toastiness, nuttiness and earthy-ness that remains delicate and light. From the first sip of the initial steeping right through to the lingering taste of the final cup, this Longjing fills the palate with satisfying flavor.
The origin of authentic Longjing is the West Lake ( Xi Hu region ) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Longjing is a protected tea ( protected against counterfeit 'Longjing' tea cultivated and manufacture in other places in China, or from other tea producing countries ) and can only legimately come from one of the places located within the National Designated Protected Zone. (Our Longjing is 'authentic Longjing' which means that the tea is made from Longjing #43 tea bushes. )
This zone is a scant 168 kilometers in area, and all Longjing tea manufactured there is sold under the name of the region or village where the tea was plucked. The original production zones were named Lion, Dragon, Cloud ( Meijiawu Village), Tiger, and Plum.
Today, the names have changed, but the most important harvesting areas for production of authentic Longjing in the Xi Hu region are the same: Shi-feng Shan; Longjing Village; Meijiawu Village; Weng-jia Shan.
Our 2013 Yu Qian Longjing Meijiawu Village is complex in aroma, and we think, quite spectacular. We hope you are as impressed with it as we are.
Being able to taste these three choice Longjings in a comparative tasting is a rare opportunity for those who are interested in tasting the effects of terroir. Or in this case, the subtle difference / similarity of same-name products made from different farms using the same tea making techniques within the same region.
Because of the effects of terroir on the final characteristics of tea grown within the region, this tea is similar to but different than the Shi Feng and the Weng-jia Shan Longjings. All have a similar appearance - some are greener, some have more slightly elongated leaf and bud plucks, some have a bit more early spring 'down' on the leaf, etc - and the flavors are similar but different, too.
These differences are small, not big; subtle, not overblown. It is a matter of degrees in the sweetness and toastiness, and the amount of mouthfeel, intensity of the flavor and the length and strength of the finish. These Longjings present the tea drinker with lovely variations of a elegant theme.
Like a Bordeaux wine tasting, one can conduct a tea tasting of our 2013 Longjings and happily ruminate on the results with a group of like-minded tea enthusiasts.
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