We have received several emails from customers were confused by the grading systems different sites use for their West Lake Long Jing. In stead of answering those emails individually, we feel it is better that we address it to all of our customers via our blog.
City of Hangzhou published Long Jing Local Standard in 2005. According to this standard, West Lake Long Jing can be classified into seven grades: Jing Pin(精品), Te Ji (特级), and Grade 1 to 5, with Jing Pin being the highest grade and 5 being the lowest grade.
Both Jing Pin and Te Ji West Lake Long Jing are certified by Hang Zhou Quality Control Center and packed under controlled environment with special anti-fake label and certificate, which allow customers to check authenticity online or by phone. The anti-fake number is 17 digits long and the certificate number is 8 digits long. Only 1,750kg Jing Pin and 2,800kg Te Ji West Lake Long Jing were produced in 2007. The this year's first 600kg Jing Pin West Lake Long Jing went on market on April 7.
While Te Ji West Lake Long Jing is consist of 70% one bud and one leave tea leaves and 30% one bud and two leaves tea leaves, that ratio is reversed in Grade 1 West Lake Long Jing. Therefore, if the West Lake Long Jing you bought is mainly consists of one bud and two leaves, it is not a Te Ji no matter how your vendor rates it.
Video: How Long Jing is Made