Here at B. Fuller’s, we love the variety that the plant kingdom offers us. Within the single category of Camelia sinensis (teas) we are able to find a rainbow of colors, flavors and mouth feel. Overall, our approach to botanicals has always been along a European apothecary model, with a larger focus being on black teas, as they are the ones more common in the European cupboard.
But as we expanded our offerings in our first years, we began adding green and oolong teas. This was natural, as we began to learn about the way that oxidation changes and transforms tea leaves. As we have continued to drink green teas with friends in the tea world, the deep beauty of this style of tea so prized in Asia has become so very clear.
Our tasting this week focused on three green teas: Dragonwell, Organic YunWu and Gunpowder Green.
Dragon Well (Chinese- Longjiing 龍井茶).
Traditionally grown, harvested and processed in small batches by hand, in Hangzhou, Zhejian Province , Dragon Well has a long and acclaimed history in tea culture. For us here, the thing we like best about Dragon Well is the ability to create an infusion that, as nearly as possible, brings forward the flavor and quality of fresh tea leaves as we can have without being in the fields in China!
This beautiful tea leaf has a slight curl, and a deep jade to dark green color. The fragrance from the dry leaves is slightly grassy and alkaline. The finished liquor from steeping is a beautiful yellow-green darkening with subsequent steeps.
This lovely leaf takes its name from the distinctive shape of the leaves after they have been rolled into little pellets. This has been done to protect the leaf and also to add nuance to the leaf as it allows differing levels of enzymatic breakdown to occur during processing.
Spring is a great time to experience green teas, with their fresh, rejuvenating nature and flavors, they lend themselves to this time of year perfectly.