2023 Mingqian Mei Jia Wu West Lake Longjing / Dragon Well #43 Tea. 明前头采特级梅家坞西湖龙井。Harvest Date: March, 2023.
This is TeJi / Premium Grade LongJing (特级龙井) and the first harvest of LongJing for 2023. It is harvested before Qing Ming Festival (Mingqian) from Mei Jia Wu 梅家坞. Mei Jia Wu, like Shi Feng, is one of only a handful of officially-recognized Longjing tea gardens next to the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
The #43 cultivar of Longjing buds earlier than other varieties, making it the earliest harvest of Longjing in the West Lake gardens. #43 Longjing grown in Mei Jia Wu is prized for its mouth feel, subtly layered flavours and rich aroma. These are the first buds, and are more tender and delicate than later harvests.
Each package comes with a sticker that is the official certificate / serial number for that tea. Because of the enormous demand for Longjing from these old gardens, much more "West Lake Longjing" is sold each year than is actually grown. To combat fraud, the Chinese government has instituted a certification program. The government recommends that if buying Longjing labeled as coming from one of the official areas (including Mei Jia Wu and Shi Feng), that buyers make sure the package has the official certificate (pictured to the left), and that they follow the steps below to check the tea's certification and information:
Scan the QR code using a smart phone to be redirected to the official website for West Lake Longjing information and certification. Once on the website, the sticker on the certificate can be scratched off to reveal the authentication code. After typing in the authentication code online, the tea information will be revealed on the website. These certificates are very strictly controlled and are the only guarantee for buyers that they have real graded and certified West Lake Longjing. Click here for more details.
The following are guidelines that can be played with depending on personal preference, but they are a good place to start if this is the first time brewing longjing tea.
We recommend adding around 3-4g of tea to 250-300ml of water in a cup or fair cup. The best temperature range for Longjing is around 80-85C. Water above this temperature will scald this delicate tea destroying the subtleties of its flavour making it flat. There is no need to rinse this tea before drinking.
We recommend steeping for 2 minutes before taking a sip. You can add more hot water once the tea is down to 1/2 or 1/3 of its original level. The tea can be re-steeped several times before the flavour is lost.