2021 Long Jing Tea [ShanLi Renjia Farm]
A soothing, smooth and sweet pan-fired loose leaf tea.
In more Depth...
Tea Maker : Mr Lang Qi [the owner of the farm] guided by Master Lang Li Fang, an old tea maker of the Lang family.
Origin / Garden name and location : ShanLi Renjia Farm [meaning farm among the deep mountains] DongKeng village, Linan, zhejiang, China
Size of garden : 50 Mu（abt 3.5ha)
Harvest Time : Only every spring, this year starting around April 4 2021 until April 30th.
Cultivar : Jiou Kang Qing Ti Zhong [meaning it originated from Jiou Kang moutain/valliage, which is the most widely planted tea cultivar in zhejiang province : most Longjing is made of this cultivar]
Grade : 1st grade
Plucking standard : Hand plucking. One bud with one or two small leaves
Processing : By hand and machine, mixed processing.
Experience : Soothing, smooth and sweet.
How to make Long Jing Tea
Amount of tea per serving (200 ml): 2g (half tea caddy spoon / 1 teaspoon)
Temperature of water: 80℃ / 176℉ (boil kettle, cool for 2 minutes)
Infusion time: 1 - 1.5 minutes as desired
Number of infusions: 3
How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar
The Tea...Long Jing tea can also be known by its literal translation 'Dragon Well'. It is said to have been named after a well that contains relatively dense water. When fresh, lighter rain falls it does not mix with this dense water, instead sitting on top if it. The reflections and refractions between the two are supposed to resemble the movement of a dragon. Long Jing tea is pan-fired flat by hand in large woks. This has to be performed one small batch at a time. The result is a tea with flat leaves shaped like the blade of a sword.
The People...Mr Lang, the owner of this small family garden is 32 years old and lives with his family, including his parents, his wife and son. The family lives on the farm, where they farm tea but also other local agricultural specialities, like Linan Pecan, local dried bambo shoots, as some poultry. The majority of their income comes from tea.
Mr Lang inherited the farm from his father after he married and learned garden management and processing of tea not only from his father, but also from another tea proccessing expert, Mr Lang Li Fang, a well known tea maker in their village.
The Land..The farm is in an village, where the local goverment has been guiding all local farms to organic agriculture, especially on tea, because of the good environment.
The farm used to sell their leaf into a much larger organic operation and experts from IMO, BCS, ETC guided them on the conversion from conventional management up to organic for the vegetation, tea plantation, tea processing etc. Although they no longer receive guidance Mr Lang keeps the natural organic approach to management and processing tea. They never use pestides or chemical fertilizer. To rid the plot of pests they raise poultry(chickens), and cut all tea trees as early immediately at the end of April,once they finish plucking because the local temperature becomes higher and insects/pects would come if they didn't carry out the heavy cutting. They use some seed cakes during the winter.
With regards to soil management the vegetation and the tea trees are not 'over cultivated' so the original ecology of the area is preserved. This is why the tea trees appear almost 'wild' - perhaps not looking as beautiful as other gardens but producing wonderful flavourful tea. The Long Jing is plucked by hand and not machine.
Certification : Mr Lang has high hopes for his tea but like many other small farmers in China cannot afford the heavy certification costs for the small volumes that they sell. So he keeps organic management and organic processing and calls his farm 'natural organic'