Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lung Ching

For my training at DAVIDsTEA, I have been asked to create presentation on Chinese green teas, so I figured, why not do my first tasting blog on a Chinese green tea?
So here it is, Lung Ching – best known as Dragonwell, but is also called Fragrant Forest Mist, Bai Yun…the list goes on. Dragonwell is one of those tea house staples, everyone will have it, but each one you try will be a little different! The Dragonwell from Elixir Fine Tea is by far my favorite that I have tried (not because I work there!)

Here's what the Elixir website has to say about it:
China's most famous style of green tea offers a balance of fresh spring high notes and smooth toasted flavours. Refreshing with a bittersweet finish and roasted chestnut aroma.

More info here!

Liquor & Infusion

I'm personally not as familiar with Chinese greens as I am with Japanese greens, but I really enjoy them. Chinese and Japanese green teas are very different from eachother. Chinese green teas are wok or pan fried after drying (and oxidation in some cases) where Japanese greens are steamed. It is very easy to tell the difference between these teas just by looking at them. Japanese greens will usually be a very deep, rich green colour, like grass, where Chinese green teas tend to be darker and more muted in colour.

Here's what I thought:
Here's a better look at the
colour of the liquor.
With each sip, I experienced a very full & rich mouth feel, and a very creamy taste and texture. I am reminded of eating a rich, creamy pasta. The flavor is sweet and grassy, with fruity undertones. I think of apricots when I drink this particular Lung Ching. After I swallow, I notice a slight, underlying bitterness & the creamyness is replaced by a lasting numb sensation on the tip of my tongue.

I make it a rule for myself to not read the description or ask what other people think until until after I've tasted a tea, so I can develop my own ideas. Everyone is different, and everyone's palate is different. I think it's awesome, it's what makes tasting teas (especially with friends) so fun!

Tea & Me

As a child, I hated tea. I believe that this hatred stemmed from my mother making me drink mint tea bags when I stayed home sick from school. Today, I work at two tea shops. One a corporate chain and the other a small independant shop.

DAVIDsTEA is opening it's first store in Calgary in one short week and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
I had heard of DAVIDs in passing but had never been until a few months ago. On a visit to Edmonton with some friends, I discovered the shop and immediately loved it - especially compared to other corporate shops that I am familiar with. Despite my ridiculous lack of spare time, when I saw that DAVIDs was opening a store in Calgary, I had to apply.
You can read about DAVIDsTEA here.

Elixir Fine Tea is the newest addition to the tea scene in Kensington, and it is very different from the rest of the tea houses in the city. We source tea from all over the world, and we pride ourselves on our unique selection of high quality loose leaf teas. We strive to stock teas that no one else carries! Some of our teas you can't find anywhere else in the country! Not only do we serve tea to go and sell our teas in bulk, but we feature a tea bar where we do tea tastings. At the tea bar, we brew our teas in the proper vessel (Japanese tea in the Japanese fashion/Chinese tea in the Chinese fashion & so on) and pair them with treats!
You can read more about Elixir Fine Tea here.

I drink tea for the taste and it really relaxes me. I don't drink tea because of it's many health benefits - but I sure wont say no to 'em! Since I discovered the wonderful world of loose leaf tea, I have strived to learn as much as possible. In the world of tea, there is always more to learn (and more to taste)!

My mission is simply to taste teas and share them with others!  I don't profess to be an expert but I want to share the experiences and knowledge that I do have!