Some of you Green tea lovers may have heard of Zhu Ye Qing or Bamboo Green tea from Sichuan province. This is a famous Green from Er Mei mountains and I have tasted a lot of these over the years but I have never been tempted to buy.
The reason is that while a lot of Zhu Ye Qing has a gorgeous appearance, I find that the flavour is a little light, one dimensional and can have too much astringency.
Kaihua Longding is a relatively new tea grown in the famed Green tea wonderland of Zhejiang province (home to Long Jing and Anji Bai Cha). Kaihua is actually located at the source of the Qianjiang river - a beautiful location close to the borders of Jiangxi and Anhui (both highly regarded tea producing provinces).
Kaihua Longding was supposedly introduced into the area by cultivating this Jiu Keng Zhong tea variety in the 1950's. Despite over 50 years of production it is relatively unknown which is crazy because it is such a delicious tea.
The picking is super fine (bud and one leaf) and the leaves will happily bob up and down vertically in water which in China is a demonstration of top grade needle shape tea. Because of this visual effect, some people like to brew this tea 'Grandpa Style' but we always recommend trying Gong Fu Style to maximise the aroma and flavour.
This tea is the raw taste of sweet Spring in our opinion. It is bracing, bright and vibrant with some of that raw leaf astringency which I really enjoy. If you would like to mellow out the rawness then brewing in clay is an option but please keep the water temperature low to maintain that sweet, sappy and fresh Spring aroma.