I’m in green tea land. Everybody drinks green tea here, pretty much. Longjing is taken quite seriously, with last night’s dinner discussion partially centered around the differences of Meijiawu and Longwu longjing. I feel ashamed that I don’t know that much about this drink anymore. Although I can tell a good one from a bad one, I can’t tell the production locales, much less the finer distinctions in gradations.
It is, in many ways, the most versatile of teas. Different greens do taste quite drastically different. Using the same leaves, if you press on the pan instead of rolling the leaves on the pan, the taste will come out different. While puerh “kill-green” is a pretty simple and unscientific process, longjing kill-green is an art form. Everything from the temperature to the pressure is quite systematic and carefully done, because any variation can cause a detectable change in taste. Puerh, from picking to production, is all done in such a carefree way — no specific time, no specific way of killing green, no control of temperature, etc. Green tea is so exact. I always wondered what will happen to puerh if somebody bothered to control all these variables and try to make it more of an exact science. Will it produce better teas?