Dragon Well is a type of non-oxidized green tea.
With minimum processing, Dragon Well retains the essence of it’s tea leaves. Therefore, the selection of tea is plays a very crucial role here.
As the season changes, and when the climate gets warmer, the tea leaves would produce more anthocyanins and it would cloud and envelope the tea with bitterness.
Tea expert Xue Yongjun attributes that the taste Dragon Well tea changes according to the seasons. The temperature before Qingming Festival (that is, around April 5) would be the best as the temperature would stay generically low while slowly warming up, which is beneficial to the growth of Dragon Well buds and hence the quality of tea. For Dragon Well teas harvested on a later date, the temperature would rise too rapidly causing the tea buds to grow too fast, producing longer buds, which wouldn’t be ideal.
The tea industry generally associates Dragon Well tea leaves with the period before Qingming Festival with the quality of the harvest. Ming Qian Dragon Well is highly regarded within tea masters and tea community. This kind of tea is made only from tender buds. When brewing, the tea leaves would stand upright producing a clear emerald brew. This is especially evident in tender buds that are made with one bud with one leaf, commonly known as a flag and a pike, producing the best Ming Qian Dragon Well because the nutrients are highly concentrated in the buds and leaves.
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福茗堂評茶師及總經理薛詠君表示，根據每年的節氣，清明節前（即 4 月 5 日左右）一般氣溫處於低溫及緩慢回暖的時節，有利龍井嫩芽生長，故茶葉品質最好，往後氣溫突然升高，造成茶芽葉長速過快，芽葉過長，質素就會相對沒那麼出色。