29 June 2008

Cooling the Savage Dragonwell

The sweet, subtly fruity currents in Dragonwell tea worked so well with the sour-cherry pie from last week (if you haven't made it yet, you should be arrested), but I found mysef wondering how it would translate into iced.

Absolutely incredible, it turns out. It's vaulted to the top of my favorite iced teas of the summer list.

I didn't cold brew this time, but rather just used a decent-sized teapot with a large infuser, less-than-boiling water (as you should for all green teas), and steeped it for about three minutes. I let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, and a shimmering golden green liquid greeted me this morning.

Dragonwell, or Longjing, is a pan-fired Chinese green tea from the Zheijang province, prized by connoisseurs the world over for its soft, full and toasty flavor. The process it undergoes gives the leaves a characteristic flat, swordlike shape, which tickle your palm as they're surrendered to the pot.

And the taste is a Chinese green at its pinnacle: sweet, fresh and earthy. When cold, it conjures up water melted from a pristine glacier, winding through verdant summer meadows and blazing, sun-baked fields, picking up faint essences of grass and wheat along the way.

Go ahead: pour yourself a jar, and spend the rest of this sweltering Sunday afternoon relaxing in the shade of your backyard (or the most quiet, private park you can find in Brooklyn) with it and 27 magazines. That's what I'll be doing for the rest of the day.


noble pig said...

Just the name Dragonwell tea intrigues me. I think I need to find this.

ana dane said...

it's one of the most prized (and popular) teas in china, so it's not that hard to find.

mine is from ito en (www.itoen.com), but any decent tea shop should carry it. just make sure the leaves are fresh and fragrant, you follow the brewing instructions,and you won't be disappointed.

do let me know how you like it.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

I'm on my 26th magazine and wishing I had some of that dragonbreath or dragon's balls tea.
Nice photos!