According to the fresh tea leaves,Longjing is divided into six grades: Superior and then 1 down to 5 according to the quality and the number of bud and leaves. The different grades tea main features as follows.
Special Grade :One bud one leaf, just beginning to unfold. Leaves flat & smooth
Grade 1 :One bud one leaf, opened, also one bud and two leaves just beginning to unfold. Leaves quite flat and smooth
Grade 2: A bud and two leaves. Leaves unfolded. Quite flat leaves
Grade 3: A bud and two leaves, May be some leaves opposite each other. Leaves flattish
Grade 4: A bud and two/three leaves (which are opposite each other). Leaves flattish, but broader and not so smooth
Grade 5: A bud and three leaves or two leaves opposite each other. Leaves rough.
Longjing tea benefits:
The nutrition contained in every two grams of Longjing Tea are total of 21 calories, 10 miligrams of sodium, 3 grams of total carbs, and 1 gram of dietary fiber.
Longjing tea has rich antioxidant content. The tea contains vitamin C, amino acids, caffeine, fluorine and has one of the highest concentrations of catechins, as most finer Chinese green teas. So the longjing tea has many health benefits.
How to brew Longjing tea?
To get a cup of delicious longjing tea, you should know how to brew it.
Preparation: Get some Longjing tea, a glass cup, and a bottle of mineral spring water ready, and then put three grams (one teaspoon) of tea into the cup.
Clean the tea leaves: Pour a little (about 50ml) heated spring water (80°C to 90°C) into the cup. Gently swirl the cup, and then pour out the water, keeping the tea leaves in the cup. This should clean off any dust etc. on the tea from the manufacturing process.
Brew the tea: pour 150ml (the leaves: water ratio should be about 1:50) of 85°C water into the cup, and wait for about 3 to 5 minutes until the tea leaves have dilated owing to the absorption of the water.
Drink the Tea: Drink the tea in the following three minutes, and you can enjoy a perfect cup of Longjing tea.
Different grades brewed longjing tea have different features, mainly show in color, taste, smell.
In terms of color, high quality leaves are a clear, bright green color and low quality leaves are a darker green color, not as emerald green, but more of a yellowish green.
In terms of Taste, a high quality tea has a smooth, mellow, refreshing taste with a hint of natural sweetness. A low quality tea has a mild taste, and can be slightly bitter.
In terms of Smell, high quality teas are very fragrant and have a delicate, long-lasting aroma. Low quality teas only have a very mild and slight aroma.
The picking time is vital for the tea quality. Longjing picking has three characteristics: early, tender and diligent. As a saying goes "Tea leaves are a treasure if picked earlier while it is useless as grass if picked too late." In terms of picking time, the earlier, the better. This is the reason why the mingqian tea is best in quality. The high quality tea will use more tender buds in most cases. The buds and leaves are of the same size, in even and orderly form, and aren't damaged by the plant disease when picking. The frequent picking is also a feature of longjing. This assure longjing tea plucked is fresh and timely.
Store in airtight, opaque packaging; keep refrigerated.
Firstly, extending the leaves in a bamboo basket for 8 to 10 hours to let the wind take away about 30% water.
Secondly, roasting the leaves in a steel pan. The temperature is about 80-100°C and roasting for 20 minutes. The roasting is done by hand all the time. Roasting longjing tea including the following steps: grasp, toss, shake, pile, throw, buckle, press and grind, which called" 8 Hand Movement". The experienced know well when and how to use the certain movements to make the tea roast well.
Thirdly, after roasting, the water in tea leaves decrease to 10%. This step is to cool tea leaves down in a bamboo basket for about 40-60 minutes.
Finally, examine the tea and get rid of the broken pieces. And roasting good tea in the pan again with a temperature of 60-70 °C for about 20-25 minutes, until it reduces the water to about 5%. Till now, the longjing tea finished all steps.