I ate one of them.. :I
Mr. Shan is in his late 50's with a heart of a young kid. He is playful and thus tea trees are his project, tea mountain is his play ground. In the picture is a flat of Long Jing, a combination of varietals - Qin Ti varietals grown from seeds, hence are not exactly the same by looks and taste. Because of this combined varietals, the end product is richer and fuller, without the obvious flaws of a single varietal tea product. You may called it the original and natural blended tea. Long Jing #43 is an early crop tea compared to the Qin Ti varietal, however Qin Ti LJ is much more desirable than #43 for the taste even though the look is less attractive. I ate fresh leaves from a few different trees, the slow growth leaves are much tastier than the big fast growing leaves. High yield crop is not necessary good in terms of quality.
Various color of leaves indicating different varietals.
Delicious and refreshing, exceptional taste! You may eat the leaves.
Here is a special grade Long Jing made of combined varietals of long jing trees of age over 50 years, they are planted during the 50's when the government ordered the whole country to expand economic plantation to obtain foreign currency. The most tasty leaves are these dark green, bubbly surface, sharp saw tooth rim, very slow growing leaves. Unfortunately, single tree or even single varietal processing is not available here. If opportunity arises, I'd spend a month on the mountain, live on eating fresh tea leaves and make a small batch of selected varietal leaves for my own single varietal LJ tea. :D This is my motivation for revisiting China again soon.
Rich and strong for the first brew, smooth and mellow, very sweet for the next few infusions.