Lung Ching, which when translated means”dragon well,” is a Chinese green tea surrounded by legend.
One such legend surrounds it’s very name. Grown and produced in the Hangzhou region in the Zhejiang province, there is said to be a well that contains relatively dense water. After a rain, the lighter rainwater floats to the surface and will twist and swirl with the well water, resembling the movement of a Chinese dragon. Hence, the Dragon’s Well.
Anther legend is around the tea itself. Being one of China’s most well known, and highly prized teas, it earned the Gong Cha, or imperial tea, status during the Qing dynasty. It is said that during this dynasty the emperor’s grandson visited the area’s Hu Gong Temple. The temple had 18 tea bushes planted in it’s garden. Presented with the tea and being readily impressed, the grandson gave the bushes the special imperial status. These 18 Camellias are still living today and it is purported that the tea they produce is priced higher per gram than gold.
Thankfully, for a sample, you won’t need to pay more than gold if you secure it from Harney & Sons.
You’ll want to steep this like most green teas, two to three minutes in no more than 175 degree water, resulting in a pale yellow liquor.
The predominant aroma is one that is how a water chestnut tastes; it has a hint of roasted nuts (possibly walnuts? Lori and I had trouble deciding) alongside steamed bok choy.
The liquor is surprisingly medium bodied with a light astringent bite to it.
The flavors are vegetal with a hint of the bok choy and walnut flavors that were present in the aroma of the leaves. There is a sweet grassy taste on the finish.
“‘Halflings!’ laughed the Rider that stood beside Éomer. ‘Halflings! But they are only a little people in old songs and children’s tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?‘
‘A man may do both,’ said Aragorn. ‘For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!'”
JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Book 3, Chapter II “The Riders of Rohan” (emphasis mine).