I was recently approached by a company called Retroleaf Tea and they offered me some free tea for a review. That makes them the second ever company to offer me free tea so that’s still pretty exciting for me! I chose the tea called Double Dragonwell, which is a blend of two green teas from Fujian province processed like a dragonwell or longjing.
Traditionally Longjing comes from the Zhejiang Province, but these teas are from Fujian so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Retroleaf suggests Western style brewing parameters, but you know me and I had to give it the gongfu treatment. I used 3 grams of leaf in a 100 ml gaiwan with 175F filtered tap water. I brewed it for 15 seconds plus 5.
Right away the leaves gave off an enticing aroma that is very different from traditional longjing. In college I worked at a certain store that sells bed, bath, and other products and the smell of these leaves reminded me of walking into that store. It was like a potpourri almost with a mostly cinnamon note but some other nice smelling things in there as well.
The infusions didn’t change much at all, so for the sake of brevity, I will describe them all at once. The spicy cinnamon/potpourri note hit me right up front. Again it was nothing like other longjing that I have had, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I really did enjoy that aroma and the taste of the liquor. The texture was medium and the finish was nice and long. I also noticed that the texture was incredibly smooth and quite buttery. There was also a green vegetal note just underneath the cinnamon but it was pretty subtle and stayed that way throughout the session.
The price on this one is $10 for 50 grams. 3 grams per session is $.60 per session. I went four but I think 5 is a reasonable number of infusions, which comes to $.12 per infusion (100 ml). That is a really good price for this tea if you ask me. Again, this tea was given to me for free.
The leaves are mostly intact and there are some stems mixed in, but for the price I think it’s pretty good.
So, don’t expect this tea to taste like a genuine Dragon Lake Xihu longjing. This tea is something else, entirely. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this tea and I think it’s quite unique. I can’t recall ever tasting that cinnamon/potpourri note before in a tea. I reached out to Retroleaf for more sourcing information and they informed me that this is from the Longjing Qunti cultivar and is grown in the Jin Long Ping village. Cheers!