|"Mild and clean, with a buttery, salty aroma... the first infusion was to my tastes, but every infusion that followed was sub-par."|
For tasting purposes, I brewed this alongside a 2007 shi feng long jing from Red Blossom Tea Co, a lower grade 2007 long jing from Red Blossom, and a 2006 long jing from Ten Ren. I did 4 short brews using 2.5 grams in 90 mL gaiwans with 180° F water.
At first, the liquor is pale and green like the shi feng. The taste is mild and surprisingly clean with a buttery, salty aroma. With a little more time the liquor is a more characteristic yellow. At this point the taste is nutty and the body is just right for my taste. Unfortunately, the brews that followed were quite distasteful. The liquor took on the color of wuyi oolong and an unpalatable bitterness. The lower grade from Red Blossom didn't last much longer, but the leaves from Ten Ren and the shi feng were much more productive. I kept a tasting cup's worth of the first and second brews to taste afterwards. The first brew of Mighty Leaf yielded a strong, peculiar taste that was not apparent in the hot tea, but it receded by the second brew.
I often see an oil film on long jing, and have been told this is the mark of the the use of a stick of extruded tea oils to keep the long jing from sticking and burning to the pan as it fries. The Mighty Leaf Dragon's Well did not exhibit this, and the leaves were in fact more burnt than the Ten Ren and low grade Red Blossom. Being an amateur, I'm not sure what to make of this.
At $9.95 for a quarter pound, it's about as cheap as you can find decent long jing. Still, I do not suggest it for purchase. Tea of much higher quality can be had for minimal increases in cost. To me, a tea that's only capable of two short brews before copping out is of little value. If anything, this is a good way to experience Dragon's Well for the first time.
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