AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Dragon Well: the queen of the green teas

posted by Daphne April 23, 2016
Dragon Well green tea Amsterdam

Admittedly, I’m not a huge tea drinker. My earliest memory of tea is of my grandma in Hong Kong dragging me along to the local tea house early (and I mean early) in the morning, where she would chat with her friends for what felt like hours. I would sip on my cup of Ovaltine and… Do whatever it is that kids do. The floor was littered with chicken bones, because it was customary to throw the bones on the floor when you were done eating. These were different times.

Although I have fond memories of the times in that tea house, it did nothing to make me love tea. Tea was for old people, for grandmas – unlike Ovaltine, which was clearly for cool people.

Nowadays I drink more tea than I do Ovaltine, and I’ve found out tea actually isn’t just for grandmas. In fact, tea seems to be getting rather popular amongst the young and hip. And I’ve inevitably learned more about tea because my mom owns a tea shop in Amsterdam where – according to famous food critics and chefs – she has the best Chinese/Taiwanese teas in the country.

Yesterday, this spring’s freshly harvested green tea arrived. Among them is the famous Dragon Well, a pan-roasted green tea from Zhejiang, China. The tea is smooth, sweet and fragrant, with a long-lasting aftertaste and no bitterness.

If you normally drink tea from tea bags, this is another world entirely. Even if you’re already familiar with loose leaf teas, you may have never had fresh green tea, as many tea shops sell teas that are old and of lesser quality. Since freshness makes a huge difference in the taste of green tea, definitely give this a try if you can.

A few tips for using loose leaf tea:

  • Always heat up your cups and teapot by rinsing with hot water before brewing your tea.
  • Always rinse Chinese tea with hot water before brewing to remove impurities.
  • With a good quality tea, you can use the leaves for several steepings that each have a slightly different flavour profile. In fact, the second steeping is often the best.
  • Green teas are usually best steeped in water that’s around 70-80ºC. If the water is too hot, the tea may become bitter.
  • A good green tea should look green and fresh. If you see brown and broken tea leaves, don’t waste your money.

You can find my mom’s tea shop in Amsterdam, a short walk from Leidseplein. Don’t ask for Ovaltine though, she’ll think you’re weird.

Formocha Premium Tea
Eerste Looiersdwarsstraat 28
1016VM Amsterdam

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