Drogon Well Tea (Longjing Tea)( simplified Chinese: 龙井茶; traditional Chinese: 龍井茶; pinyin: lóngjǐng chá) is one of China's best teas and is one reason for Hangzhou's international fame. The tea is grown in the Longjing mountain area of Hangzhou, southwest of the West Lake. The flat and smooth tea leaves (resembling pine needles with a yellow to dark green color) brew a tea with light to dark green color, a fragrant scent, and a refreshing taste.
This tea variety is often called the national drink of China and is frequently given to visiting heads of state. It is a favorite tea amongst the Mainland Chinese leaders, with a portion of production reserved for government customers.
Longjing tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or imperial tea, in Qing Dynasty by Chinese emperor Kangxi. According to the legend, Kangxi's grandson Qianlong, visited West Lake during one of his famous holidays. He went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan) and was presented with a cup of Longjing tea. In front of the Hu Gong Temple were 18 tea bushes. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the Longjing tea produced here that he conferred these 18 tea bushes special imperial status.
Like most other Chinese green tea, Longjing tea leaves are roasted early in processing (after picking) to stop the natural "fermentation" process, which is a part of creating black and oolong teas. In the world of tea, the term "fermentation" refers to the actions of natural enzymes, present in the leaves, on the juices and tissues of the leaf; this is not "fermentation" in the true sense of the term (as, for example, the action of yeast in producing beer). The actions of these enzymes is stopped by 'firing' (heating in pans) or by steaming the leaves before they completely dry out. As is the case with other green teas (and 'white teas'), Longjing tea leaves are therefore "unfermented." When steeped, the tea produces a yellow-green color, a gentle, pure aroma, and a rich flavor. The tea contains Vitamin C, amino acids, and, like most finer Chinese green teas, has one of the highest concentrations of catechins among teas.
Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is said to have named after a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.
Legend also has it that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, water from the Dreaming of the Tiger Spring, a famous spring in Hangzhou, is to be used. The water quality of the spring now is certainly very different than before
Cultivation and Processing
Longjing tea comes to life in the mountainous area of the Zhejiang Province, surrounded by a mild climate, rain and fog all year round. These conditions, and the lack of sun, allow the tea leaves to retain more theanine, thus providing your tea with a mellow and fruity taste. This method of processing tea in the shade is similar to that of Gyokuro tea and Matcha tea, both Japanese green teas.
The best Longjing quality tea can be found in West Lake, namely in Lion Peak Mountain. There are, of course, other Longjings produced outside West Lake, within the Zhejiang Province, and even produced in other provinces. Longjing Tea Plantation More
This tea is harvested just once a year, for six weeks, in early spring and then only young buds are plucked. Leaves are jade-green in colour. The first two weeks are considered high grade, while the remaining ones are low grades.
Immediately after picking, the tea is withered, thus removing moisture and increasing the content of theanine.
The tea is then roasted. This magical art is done by hand. Roasters use their bare hands to better experience the heat and understand the development of the tea leaves, which takes up to five years to master. Leaves are folded by hand into the shape of flattened sticks. As this stage of the processing takes place a wonderful warm aroma emanates from the tea leaves, instantly reminding of all the tea cups you've drunk in your entire life.
Finally, the tea should be placed in the refrigerator, to avoid humidity, where it can remain fresh up to three years, thus letting you enjoy this marvelous experience for a long time. Production Process of Longjing tea More
Longjing Tea Varieties Considering the different areas of production, this tea may offer you several varieties that will equally delight you and protect your health.
Xi Hu Longjing tea flourishes near West Lake and it is the most famous and expensive variety.
Qian Tang Longjing tea is produced outside West Lake area and it is a cheaper variety.
Bai Longjing tea is not considered a true Longjing. Produced in An Ji, in the Zhejiang Province, it is also called Bai Pian tea and it stands out for having a higher amount of amino acids that will help you relax and remain calm.
Mei Jia Wu Longjing tea is quite famous and expensive as well. It is produced in Mei Jian Wu village, in the Zhejiang Province.
Shi Feng Longjing tea gains life in the mountainous area of Shi Feng, also in the Zhejiang Province. Every variety of this amazing green tea will do wonders for your mind and body. You will feel rejuvenated, energetic, calm and you will also lose weight! So come along and discover why green tea and benefits are connected.
Xi Hu (西湖) Longjing This is an example of the very standard convention of naming; the Xi Hu (West Lake) is a place where this particular Longjing is grown. This Longjing, also known as West Lake Longjing, is a China Famous Tea—in fact the most famous one—and is grown in the Zhejiang Province near Xi Hu lake. It is grown in a designated area of 168 square kilometers. Historically, Xi Hu longjing tea was divided into four sub-regions: Lion (Shi), Dragon (Long), Cloud (Yun) and Tiger (Hu). As the distinction between the sub-regions blurred over the years, this categorisation has now been adjusted to Shi Feng Longjing, Mei Jia Wu Longjing, with the remaining known collectively as Xi Hu longjing, although the Lion variety is still considered the "crème de la crème" by connoisseurs. Bird's Tongue Longjing First growth picked on March 21 yields a more intense aroma and taste of sweetness than the better known Ming Qian Longjing. Supply solely depends on yearly climate; therefore it can be expensive. [2009 Data:1200 RMB per 500gm for Bird's Tongue; 900 RMB for Ming Qian at Xi Hu Tea Village]. It is not necessarily more expensive since you will need less for the cup. Pre-Qingming Longjing The premium early season first-picking known as Ming Qian or Pre-Qingming (or Before Ching Ming) Longjing tea requires it to be produced from the very tender first spring shoots prior to the Qingming Festival on the 5th of April each year (approximately). The production cycle is very short, only ten days before Qingming every year. Tea picked after this period is of a lower grade called Yu Qian Longjing (雨前龍井), or "Dragon Well Before the Rain". In the 10-day span when Ming Qian Longjing is produced, the sprouts at the tip of the stalks are only hand-picked by experienced workers, and then specially processed; as a result, Pre-Qingming Longjing is more expensive than "standard" Longjing tea. Shi Feng Longjing A type of Xi Hu Longjing. This tea is considered the highest quality in China. Fresh tasting, its fragrance is sharp and long lasting. Its leaves are yellowish green in color. Some unscrupulous tea makers excessively pan-fry their tea to imitate its colour. Mei Jia Wu Longjing A type of Xi Hu Longjing. This tea is renowned for its attractive jade green color. Early teas can fetch up to 6000 yuan per kilogram (2005 data) direct from the growers. Bai Longjing Not a true Longjing but looks like one and is commonly attributed, it is actually a Bai Pian. It comes from Anji in the Zhejiang Province. It was created in the early 80's and is a Green tea from a race of White tea trees and is hence very unusual; it is said to contain more amino acids than ordinary Green tea. Qian Tang Longjing This tea comes from just outside the Xi Hu Longjing designated area, in Qian Tang. It is generally not as expensive as Xi Hu Longjing.
Longjing Tea Health Benefits
Weight Loss Aid Do not look for a miraculous diet. We are sorry to tell you, but the truth is that there isn’t one. However, if you wish to lose body fat and still feel healthy why not drink green tea?
Longjing or Dragon Well tea may be a good choice for you. It has a high concentration of green tea antioxidants, namely catechins, which combined with caffeine allow your metabolism to work faster. This combination will make you burn fat, build muscle and still feel healthy.
Remember this tip: Try having a daily balanced diet, take your time to drink your tea cups during the day, especially at meals, and do some physical exercise and your metabolism will improve.
Calming tea The great thing about tea is that despite its caffeine content, tea contains an important amino acid called L-Theanine that relaxes your mind. This combination will allow you to feel relaxed, calm and still remain alert and energetic during the day.
Coffee alternative: Caffeine in tea isn’t that strong and it is released progressively, during approximately 6 to 8 hours.
So rather than feeling the need to replenish your caffeine levels every couple of hours, something that will harm your heart, you will feel focused, alert and calm at the same time, for longer periods. Allow yourself to enjoy a pure moment of calmness every day.
Lower Cancer Risk Again, EGCG green tea antioxidants are a powerful ally to fight cancer, particularly through preventive action. Drinking this tea will allow its antioxidants to boost up your metabolism making it stronger to block the growth of the enzyme, urokinase, necessary to the development of tumors.
Protect yourself, protect your loved ones. Drink a cup of tea. Share it with your friends and family, while hosting a tea party! Have fun and take care of yourself at the same time.
Healthier Smile Don't fight the urge to smile! Help is on the way to make horrible dental plaque disappear. As we mention above, tea has countless benefits and green tea properties are just what you need to smile again.
These green tea leaves contain fluoride and minerals that will help you fight dental plaque, tooth decay and bad breath! So why not start right now? After meals, try rising with it and feel its freshness working. You will be smiling immediately!
Protect your Heart If you are having trouble with your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, drinking tea should be the right choice for you. Longjing tea antioxidants may help you prevent cardiovascular diseases and lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. It is a fantastic way to stay healthy and enjoy pure moments of happiness.
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!
Much Knowledge Needed for Selecting Longjing Tea Longjing Tea can be bought throughout Hangzhou, but the best place to buy Longjing Tea is the Longjing ("Dragon Well") area of Hangzhou. The tea there is said to be the best Longjing available. Alternatively, the tea can be purchased around other Hangzhou attractions, but the quality of the tea might not be as good.
The Hangzhou Longjing Tea Store is another good place to purchase Longjing Tea, but watch out for slightly high prices. On the other hand, quality should be better than buying from hawkers on the street.
There is much knowledge about selecting Longjing Tea. Consumers can judge from the color, aroma, taste and shape of the tea.
Color:Top-grade tea is yellowish green; Medium-grade tea’s color is mainly pure green; Low-grade tea is a dark green.
Aroma:To brew the tea, take 3g to 5g. Pour out the tea water after brewing and then smell if the tea has the strong or faint scent.
Taste:Look for an aftertaste after drinking the top-grade tea. It will taste somewhat sweet instead of bitter. (Excessive tea will also lead to acidity. So it is best to use about 5g tea).
Shape:Top-grade tea leaves look flat, even, and smooth on the tea surface with a length of about 2cm. Over-long or over-short tea will affect the quality.
Dragon Well Tea adds luster to West Lake and has become another reason for travelers to visit the lake. It is a heavenly unforgettable experience for visitors to take in the beautiful views around the lake while enjoying a cup of Dragon Well Tea. How To Brew Longjing tea More