Long Jing, also known as Dragon Well, is a world-renowned Chinese green tea originating from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Its fame is built on its refreshing taste, delicate aroma, and beautifully flat-shaped leaves. However, not all Long Jing teas are created equal. In this blog post, we'll delve into the fascinating world of tea cultivars, comparing the Long Jing 43 and Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong (Tu Cha) varieties to uncover the nuances that set them apart.
Long Jing 43 Cultivar:
The Long Jing 43, or "Dragon Well 43," is a relatively modern cultivar developed in the 20th century. It gets its name from being the 43rd variety of Long Jing tea, carefully bred for its high yield and resistance to disease, and more importantly it's consistent excellent taste and aroma. It has since become a popular choice among tea farmers due to its shorter growing cycle and robustness.
Taste and Aroma: Long Jing 43 boasts a bold, chestnut-like aroma with a slightly sweet and vegetal taste. The infusion produces a bright, pale green liquor with a lingering aftertaste that is both refreshing and satisfying.
Appearance: The leaves of Long Jing 43 from tea plants are very upright and even. Evenness is an important criteria when it comes to the value of Long Jing Tea. When brewed, the leaves unfurl and dance gracefully in the water, offering a captivating visual experience.
Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong Cultivar:
Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong, or "Dragon Well Common Type," is an older, more traditional cultivar that has been cultivated for centuries. It is highly valued for its unique flavor profile and is often considered the more "authentic" Long Jing experience by tea connoisseurs. Distinct from the 43 cultivar, which is propagated asexually, each Qun Ti Zhong plant can have its own unique characteristics and taste profiles.
Taste and Aroma: Long Jing Qun Ti Zhon
Taste and Aroma: Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong is celebrated for its delicate, floral aroma and subtle, sweet taste with hints of orchid and fresh grass. The infusion yields a pale yellow-green liquor with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel and a delightful, lasting finish.
Appearance: The leaves of Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong are flat, slender, and slightly curved, with a rich, dark green color. In contrast to the 43 cultivar, where tea tips are upright and uniform, Qun Ti Zhong has a more chaotic appearance. When brewed, they gracefully float and sway in the water, revealing their delicate, tender nature.
While both Long Jing 43 and Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong cultivars are undeniably enchanting, each offers a distinct flavor profile and sensory experience. Long Jing 43 caters to those who enjoy a more robust, chestnut-like aroma and a slightly sweet, vegetal taste. In contrast, Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong captivates with its delicate, floral aroma and subtle sweetness, providing a more traditional and refined experience.
Here's a handy tip for when you're visiting tea farms: to differentiate between Long Jing 43 and Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong tea plants, look at their growth patterns. Long Jing 43 plants tend to stretch out in long strips, while Long Jing Qun Ti Zhong plants appear as individual round balls. Keep this in mind, and you'll be able to easily identify these two tea plant varieties during your visit.
Ultimately, the choice between these two Long Jing cultivars is a matter of personal preference. We encourage you to explore both varieties and indulge in the delightful nuances that make each of them a unique treasure in the world of tea.