Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
True Shi Feng Dragonwell is one of the most admired teas in the world, officially endorsed by Emperor Qianlong as the archetypal green tea. We sourced this limited batch from an old friend, Mrs. Li, whose family has a plot of land at the heights of Shi Feng (Lion’s Peak). Tea lovers make the long hike up gravel and dirt roads to reach Mrs. Li’s farm and buy a bit of her precious harvest. Because of our unique friendship, we were able to secure a few pounds to share.
Learn more about this tea here.
My review of this Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea from Verdant Tea is somewhat bittersweet because … this is easily the finest Dragonwell green tea I’ve ever tasted but unfortunately, this tea is not available for purchase at this time. On the Verdant Tea website it reads:
This special edition tea has sold out. We are hoping that Mrs. Li will let us have more of her Dragonwell later this year or in the spring.
But also … JOY! Because I do feel very fortunate that I’ve this opportunity to be tasting this tea now. As I said before, this Dragonwell is the finest that I’ve tried. I love Dragonwell tea, and sure, I’ll still enjoy other Dragonwell teas that are from Mrs. Li’s tea farm. But this one … this tea stands alone in a class by itself.
It has a delicious nutty flavor that is sweet, smooth and offers very little astringency. The tasting notes on the Verdant Tea website suggest a cashew-like flavor for the “nuttiness” that I just mentioned, and I get that. Yeah, that’s quite cashew-like, and I can almost feel that sort of nutty “creaminess” that I experience when I munch on a handful of cashews. Cashews are one of my favorite nuts, and that sweetness that is almost soft and creamy is one of the reasons I find these nuts so enjoyable.
There is a slight grassy tone to the flavor, and I noticed that vegetative tone immediately with my first sip. The vegetal notes fall somewhere between sweet grass and lima bean for me. And as I continue to sip, I notice a mineral-like note toward mid-sip.
What is most remarkable for me with this tea, though, is the creaminess it presents. I usually find Dragonwell teas to be more on the pure, clean tasting side – and this tea does possess that quality as well – but this also has a taste and texture that is creamy and almost vanilla-esque. It is quite dreamy!
I LOVE this Dragonwell. If my cupboard could contain only one Dragonwell tea, this would be the one I’d select. If someone were to ask me for a green tea recommendation to serve to someone with impeccable taste, this would be one of the first teas that would come to mind. This is a tea worth trying – and I do recommend keeping your eye on the Verdant Tea website to see if this tea becomes available again … it’s definitely worth the effort!