Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea is most famous for its unique fragrance and flavor; flat, slender strips of tea leaves in bright green liquid. Furthermore, Longjing tea aids one's health in many ways regardless of your age. It is used to deter food poisoning, refresh the body, stop cavities, fight viruses, control high blood pressure, lower the blood sugar level, and to prevent cancer. Hence, Longjing tea is regarded as the elixir for health and is widely sold and accepted all over the world. The name Longjing is from a small village on the Fenghuang Hill, in Hangzhou Zhengjiang Province. It is said that residents in ancient times believed that a dragon dwelled there and controlled the rainfall. As a result, people went there from all the surrounding areas whenever there was a drought to pray for rainfall, from as early as the Three Kingdoms Period (221-280).
Longjing tea is grown in the Longjing mountain area of Hangzhou, southwest of the West Lake. The fertile land is both rich in phosphorus and sub-acidic sand. This region prevents the cold current from the north and holds back the warm current from the south, thus the growing area of Longjing tea can be coated by cloud and mist for long periods of time. With such favorable growing conditions, needless to say, Longjing tea is considered the best tea in China.
The tea has a long history; more than 1000 years. Its earliest record may be found in the book named chajing, the first book on tea in the world, written by the Chinese expert of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Lu Yu. Longjing tea was not given its name until the Southern Song Dynasty. Hangzhou as the capital of the country carried out further development in tea production. Knowledge of the tea began to spread and became known all over the country by the times of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties.
Especially in the Qing Dynasty, the fame of Longjing tea became widespread throughout the country. One of the most remarkable emperors of the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong, paid four visits to the growing area of Longjing tea, not only to enjoy sipping tea, and to write and sing poems to praise the tea, but also to watch the process of picking and roasting it with serious intent. He was so interested in Longjing tea that he named the eighteen tea trees in front of the Hugong Temple "royal tea". From that time forward, the tea became increasingly popular for everyone.
By the early 20th century, Longjing tea was witnessing its highest popularity in history. The Chinese government has made a great effort to promote it and introduce advanced technology in planting, picking and roasting of the tea since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Subsequently, a high quality standards system for tea grading was set up. All these innovations contributed to the standardization of the tea production.
According to local custom, the right time for picking the tea leaves is very short. The period between Qing Ming and Grain Rain (from April 5 to 21) each year is generally considered the prime time to get the highest quality Longjing tea. The brewing method we highly recommended is to put a pinch of dry, roasted tea leaves into a porcelain or transparent glass cup and pour hot water at about 85C into the cup. Sip and enjoy!
In conclusion, Longjng tea is famous both because of its good quality, as well as its historical interest and the cultural connotation it has endured. Chinese Longjing tea has not only the value of tea when it is consumed, but it is also the symbol of cultural values of China.