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What is WEST LAKE DRAGON WELL

What is WEST LAKE DRAGON WELL

West Lake Longjing(Xihu longjing) is the most famous green tea in China. It is produced in the mountains around Longjing Village, West Lake, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, and has a history of more than 1,200 years.

West Lake Longjing has been famous for nearly a thousand years.

As early as the Tang Dynasty, Lu Yu's "Tea Classic" recorded: "Qiantang tea was born in Tianzhu and Lingyin temples."

Judging from the records in Lu Yu's "Tea Classic" in the Tang Dynasty and Lin'an Sanzhi in the Southern Song Dynasty, during the Tang and Song Dynasties, Longjing tea was divided into three types according to the tea production area: "Baiyun tea白云茶", "Xianglin tea香林茶" and "Baoyun tea

宝云茶", basically located in the present Lingyin灵隐, Tianzhu天竺 and Geling葛岭 areas.

In the 26th year of Jiajing (1547) of the Ming Dynasty, "West Lake Tourism Records" recorded that "on the top of Longjing is the old Longjing, and the tea produced in it is the best product in the two mountains", which is the earliest record of Longjing tea found so far.
When did "Longjing Tea" gain its reputation? It is generally believed that it began in the middle and late Ming Dynasty. Since then, "Dragon Well" refers specifically to the tea produced in Longjing or the Qiantang River area. At the same time, many poems with the title of "Dragon Well Tea" or "Tea of Dragon Well" began to appear.
It was not until the late Ming Dynasty that the name of Longjing was gradually confirmed, while historically famous teas such as "Baoyun tea, Xianglin tea, and Baiyun tea" gradually disappeared. After the Ming Dynasty, the planting area of Longjing tea gradually expanded.
In the Qing Dynasty, Longjing tea became famous. Among them, the story of Emperor Qianlong and Longjing tea is undoubtedly the most colorful stroke in the development history of Longjing tea. In the 16th year of Qianlong, the 22nd year of Qianlong, the 27th year of Qianlong, and the 30th year of Qianlong, Emperor Qianlong visited the south of the Yangtze River four times, looking for Longjing tea in West Lake again and again, and personally wrote "Eight Scenes of Dragon Well", arranged 18 tea trees as "Royal Tea".
Since then, West Lake Longjing has become famous in the southeast. Today, when you visit Hangzhou, you must have a pot of Longjing tea.
Around the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, the four traditional font names of Lion, Dragon, Cloud, and Tiger appeared. The name of "Yun" was produced in Yunqi and Wuyunshan areas, and the name of "Tiger" was produced in the area of Hupao. After the area of Meijiawu increased, the name of Mei was listed separately from the name of Yun, so there were later lions, dragons, clouds, tigers and mei five font sizes.

What is a real good Longjing tea?

/Authentic Longjing Tea /

Color: Green
The forest is foggy and humid all year round, which makes the diffuse light that is conducive to the synthesis and accumulation of aromatic substances, amino acids and other substances in the tea leaves particularly sufficient. The tea made can be described as "green in color, sweet in taste, and fragrant." The tea buds have been accumulated for a winter, and they are fresh and plump, full of amino acids. The moment Longjing spring tea hits the water, the green tea sprouts out, as if everything is growing rapidly in front of your eyes, and you really feel the arrival of summer in your heart.
Fragrance: Strong
The fragrance of Longjing tea is atmospheric and brilliant, just like the city that raised it—the south of the Yangtze river where the flowers are better than the fire, and the mist and rain are wrapped in it.
It is the time when the temperature is suddenly falling, and the light rain is pattering. I can’t help thinking that the continuous tea hills in Hangzhou are slowly growing in the mist. floral. More specifically, the typical flavor of Longjing can be described as a signature natural tender bean flower fragrance - elegant and pleasant, similar to the fragrance of clear flowers and tender beans when sniffing legumes in spring.
Taste: Sweet
The spring tea in the south of the Yangtze River, Longjing focuses on the word "fresh". On average, 40,000 buds and leaves can be roasted to make 1 catties of finished product. When it enters the throat, it has an indescribably mellow and fresh taste, and the beauty and fresh taste of spring spreads in the mouth.
Shape: Beautiful
Longjing tea, which is clear and charming, is brewed in a transparent cup, and the leaves stand up one by one in the cup, like a delicate little girl. Pour clear water, stretched transparently, just like a green dance. The dry tea is brown beige or yellow-green, straight and pointed, flat and handsome, and the buds are erect.

/ Producing Area/

Today, the total area of Longjing tea production area is about 15km². The annual output of West Lake Longjing tea is about 800 to 1,000 tons, but the sales volume is as high as more than 3,000 tons.
Under such circumstances, it will take a lot of trouble to find a cup of "true" Longjing original tea. In the mountain field of the tea area formed by the microclimate, although Yifeng and Yiyuan have the same name as Longjing tea, they are also beautiful in terms of geographical attributes and variety attributes because of their different growth environments.
The production area of Longjing tea can be divided into three major production areas: West Lake西湖, Qiantang钱塘 and Yuezhou越州.

West Lake Area.

Today, the core production area of West Lake Longjing is divided into five major brands of "Lion, Dragon, Cloud, Tiger and Plum"“狮龙云虎梅”.
The "Lion" name refers to the Longjing tea produced in Shifeng Mountain, which is of the best quality. There is a poem by the ancients that "the number of famous teas in the world is Longjing, and the top grade of Longjing is in Shifeng".
The name "Dragon" refers to the Longjing tea produced in the area of Longjing Mountain, which is of good natural quality.
The "Cloud" name refers to the Yunqi云栖area, and the style of the West Lake Longjing tea of the Mei brand is basically the same, because they are originally a family.
The most notable feature of the "Tiger" font size is: the buds and leaves are fat and the buds are exposed.
The "Plum" brand is produced in Meijiawu, and its tea production accounts for one-third of the total first-level production areas, which is well-known.
In order to better establish a standard system, the five large fonts were merged and three standard samples of West Lake Longjing were established. Among the Longjing teas, only the tea produced within 168 square kilometers of the West Lake production area can be called West Lake Longjing. It occupies the golden tea-producing belt at 30 degrees north latitude, and is rare and expensive among the three major producing areas.
That is, Shifeng Longjing (Shifeng Mountain + Longjing Mountain), Meiwu Longjing (Meijiawu + Yunqi) and West Lake Longjing (Hupao + other sporadic production areas).The tea produced in Qiantang and Yuezhou can only be called Longjing tea or Zhejiang Longjing tea.

/Tree species classification/

The tea tree varieties of West Lake Longjing are roughly divided into three categories, Longjing group species龙井群体种, Longjing 43龙井43, and Longjing Changye龙井长叶.
Longjing group species: also known as soil tea. It is an old tea tree variety born from the germination of seeds. The germination time is relatively late, and it is rich in substances. The produced Longjing incense is beautiful in color, round and round in yellow and emerald green, and has a distinct aroma of orchid beans.
Longjing 43: a national-level early-maturing clonal variety bred from the group species. It is the first tea variety that can be harvested in West Lake Longjing. It was selected from the Longjing group species. Now Longjing 43 tea tree varieties are in the West Lake production area It accounts for about 30% to 40%, 7-10 days earlier than the group species.
Longjing Changye: It was bred from Longjing species by the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences from 1960 to 1987 using the single-plant breeding method.
There is also the Wuniuzao variety produced in Zhejiang, which is a flat and straight fried green tea. It looks like West Lake Longjing, so it is easy to confuse it.

/How to choose high-quality West Lake Longjing/

Today, the total area of Longjing tea production area is about 14985 km². The annual output of West Lake Longjing tea is about 800 to 1,000 tons, but the sales volume is as high as more than 3,000 tons. It is quite difficult to find the authentic West Lake Longjing in the crowded market.
Starting in 2020, the Hangzhou West Lake Longjing Tea Industry Association has formulated new management measures. All tea companies and tea farmers in the West Lake production area must affix anti-counterfeiting labels. The Tea Industry Association calculates the approximate production capacity and issues the certificate of origin of West Lake Longjing tea. When purchasing West Lake Longjing tea, you must check whether there is this certification mark.