Review: Side-by-Side comparison of Grand Tea’s Xi Hu Dragonwell and Xi Hu Premium Dragonwell

Dragonwell Tea, Grand Tea, Green Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"These teas appear, to me, to be pretty comparable in terms of quality; however the premium version gives a stronger grassy flavor while the regular version is characterized by a sweeter, nutty finish."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 7/10
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I decided to combine two teas into one review not because I am lazy but because I thought that with 2 very similarly named teas, readers could be confused and therefore it would be best to make it clear that there were two teas and then to compare them. For clarity, I will refer to the Xi Hu Premium Dragonwell as “premium” and the Xi Hu Dragonwell as the “regular” Dragonwell.

Both of these teas are similar in appearance and what I expect of a Dragonwell, consisting of broad, flat leaves of a light mossy green color. The dry leaves of the two blends were also similar in aroma, with a pleasant vegetal aroma that was mostly grassy in nature. Even though the dry leaves looked and smelled so similar to each other, the brewed teas actually ended up being very different. I brewed both sets of leaves simultaneously, using steaming water and a 2.5 minute infusion. The liquids produced in each cup were comparable in appearance, being a translucent straw yellow color, although the regular Xi Hu was perhaps a shade darker.

As far as taste goes, the premium Xi Hu was very vegetal in a spinachy or grassy sort of way. The sweet chestnut notes that are the hallmark of this tea were notably subdued in this tea. I noticed a slight hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, although it was not off-putting. This tea was actually less like other Dragonwell teas that I have had and more like other green varieties that I have had. The regular Xi Hu had a much more prominent nutty sweetness to it and it also had a more enduring finish. The vegetal side of this tea was more subtle than in the premium version, and the finish seemed to endure a bit more as well. Although the overall body of this tea was a bit weaker or blander compared to the premium version, I found this tea to be easier-drinking and more along the lines of what I seek in a Dragonwell tea.

I decided to give each set of leaves a second infusion, and after this three minute infusion in steaming water, the leaves of each variety were really opened up. The coloration was similar to what was observed in the first infusion, with the regular version again being just a shade darker in color than the premium version. I was actually rather disappointed with both second infusions. Each paled in comparison to the flavor that was observed in the first infusion, and collectively, they paled in comparison to other Dragonwell teas that can give two, sometimes more, decent infusions. The regular Xi Hu was nutty and grainy but very subtly so. The vegetal notes of the premium Xi Hu were much reduced and the tea’s flavor was weak and watery.

In all, these teas appear, to me, to be pretty comparable in terms of quality. Each gives a respectable first infusion and a weak second infusion. So the deciding factor that would help you decide which tea to go for would be your flavor preference. If you like Dragonwell tea that has a sweet chestnut finish, I would recommend the regular Xi Hu. If you prefer green teas with a stronger vegetal flavor, then you should opt for the premium version.

— To purchase Side-by-Side comparison of Grand Tea’s Xi Hu Dragonwell and Xi Hu Premium Dragonwell, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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