Longjing tea also called Xihu Longjing tea is native to a village called Longjing that is located in the southwest of West Lake (Xihu), a famous scenic spot in Zhejiang Province.
In English-speaking countries, Longjing tea is called Dragon Well tea because the meaning of “Longjing” is “Dragon Well”.
Longjing tea is a kind of green tea, honored with the title “The Queen of Green Tea” in China, and it is one of the top 10 famous Chinese tea.
1. History of Longjing tea
Longjing tea has a history of 1,200 years through five dynasties. In the historical evolution of the 1,200 years, Longjing tea has changed from unknown to famous, from ordinary people’s daily drink to the tribute of the emperors and generals, from famous tea of Chinese nation to the famous product of the world.
Here are the five Chinese dynasties Longjing tea has experienced:
- The earliest record of Longjing tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). It is recorded in the famous tea book called <The Classic of Tea>, written by Lu Yu, the Sage of Tea.
- In the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279), Longjing tea’s industry had initially formed.
- In the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271-1368), some tea-drinking lovers began to created some poems about Longjing tea.
- In the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644), Longjing tea became famous and it is gradually spread.
- In the Qing Dynasty (AD 1636-1912), the Qianlong Emperor conferred the title “Imperial Tea” on Longjing tea. Since then, Longjing tea became more famous and is known by most people.
After the founding of New China, the state actively supported the development of Longjing tea, and it was listed as a national diplomatic gift tea.
2. Growing environment of Longjing tea
The trees of Longjing tea are planted in the mountains beside the West Lake in Hangzhou. The average annual temperature in the mountains is 16℃, and the annual precipitation is about 1500mm.
This superior natural condition is conducive to grow tea plants. The tea buds keep germinating and the harvesting time is long. It can be picked about 30 times per year, which is the most times of picking tea than that of other teas.
3. Production process of Longjing tea leaves
- Picking: there are three main requirements for picking Longjing tea leaves: picking leaves early, picking tender tea leaves, and picking leaves diligently.
- Drying: air Longjing tea leaves in the shadow to evaporate the water of the fresh leaves.
- Classifying: classify them by the size and quality of the leaves.
- Rolling: knead them into a needed shape.
- Stir-frying: this step includes other 10 methods and 3 processes.
In general, high-quality tea should be produced through many many complex processes.
4. Health benefits of Longjing tea
Every type of tea has health benefits, but the higher the quality of tea, the more benefits it has. One of the reasons Longjing tea is honored with “The Queen of Green Tea” is it contains more nutrients than other teas. Here are the benefits of Longjing tea:
- Protecting teeth
- Eliminating fatigue
- Inhibiting cancer cells
- Inhibiting arteriosclerosis
- Promoting blood circulation
- Losing weight and beautifying the face
- Enhancing eyesight and treating night blindness and xeroma
5. How to make/brew Longjing tea
- The ratio of tea leaves to water: 1:50. For example, 5g tea leaves : 250ml water.
- Water temperature: 80℃-85℃. As mentioned in How to Make Chinese Tea (Three Key Points), do not brew green tea with 100℃ water.
- Tea set: glass cup or porcelain cup.
- Brewing time: 30 seconds.