Lionpeak 2023 Shifeng Longjing/Dragonwell Green Tea – Qihuo Grade



With this spring’s Shifeng Longjing teas largely behind us, we picked up a limited amount of Qihuo grade Longjing from both #43 varietal and quntizhong bushes.

The earlier/faster sprouting and higher yielding #43 varietal has an overall more delicate and lighter taste, but there is a consistent and distinct fried-bean taste that carries through, as well as a light floral note.

The quntizhong tea has a comparatively deeper and more complex flavour, developing a more sugary fragrance in subsequent infusions. Many would call this the “original taste” of Longjing.

These teas were picked during “qihuo” (骑火), which is the two days before and including the Qingming festival. This was considered by Emperor Qianlong to be the best Longjing of the season due to its fullness and endurance. It also happens to be one of our personal favourite grades both in terms of flavour and value.

Each purchase is for 25g, making this more accessible than their 100g pre-order counterparts. This is also an excellent opportunity to compare the difference between the quntizhong (heirloom, marked with a gold sticker on the bottom of the tin) and newer #43 varietals.

There are 5 areas within the Xihu (west lake) production area that produce Longjing, each with their own minor differences in processing: Each of these teas come from Shifeng, which is considered the top sub-region in terms of quality.

The other subregions are Longjing, Yunxi, Hupao, and Meijiawu (which produces the largest amount of Longjing out of lot). Tea from these regions are also considered as authentic Xihu Longjing. Other “Longjing” is technically Zhejiang Longjing from Qiantang or Yuezhou.

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