One of the most famous teas to come out of China, longjing is a favorite the world over. The name comes from the village it originated in, Longjing, which literally translates as "Dragon Well," due to the legendary well in the tea-growing village.
Legend goes that as a child, the Qianlong Emperor went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain in Zhejiang, China, and was presented with a cup of the tea they grew themselves. He became so enamored with the tea that he sectioned off eight bushes as royal tea, only to be harvested for him and his family. One day, while he was visiting, he watched some of the women at the temple picking the tea leaves. He grew fascinated with their elegant, almost dance-like movements that he figured he should try it himself. As he picked the tea, a messenger came to him, alerting him that his mother was ill and that they needed him immediately. In a flurry, he tucked the leaves into his sleeves and rushed to her.
Over the ride back to the palace, his sleeves kept them warm with his body heat and the sun on the cloth. By the time he reached his mother's bed, she could smell the sweet tea leaves, and asked for a cup. He obliged her, noticing that the leaves had been flattened in his sleeves on the ride. The tea made his mother feel well again, and he began to flatten the leaves from his bushes from that day on.
To this very day, traditional longjing tea is lightly pan-fried and flattened, just as the Qianlong Emperor desired. It is even said that it is not a true cup of longjing without water from the Dreaming of the Tiger Spring near the Longjing Village. Does that particular spring make for better tea? We doubt it. Does the flattening add to the taste? Who can say? All we know, is this style deserves the title of "China Famous Tea."
The Dragon Well Chinese Longjing Green we carry is a stunning USDA Organic longjing. The flavor is smooth, but rich with sweet vegetal notes. It remains a favorite in this store, and all over the world.
- Use 7g (≈1 tbsp) of leaf per ½ liter (≈17 oz) of water.
- Use 80°C/175°F water
- Steep for 2 minutes, strain leaves, and enjoy!
- Too strong? Take off a minute, or use 5g of leaf instead!
- Too light? Kick it up another minute, or use 10g of leaf instead!
USDA Organic Chinese longjing green tea.