Longjing (Dragon Well) is a small village which perches on a
hill called Fenghuang Hill, connecting the South Hill and the
North Hill. The village is deeply buried in the luxuriant trees
punctuated with mysterious springs and streams. Ancient residents
believed that some dragon dwelled here. People began to come
here to pray for rainfall as early as Wu of Three Kingdoms (221-280)
whenever there was a drought. It was said that the dragon was
the god who controlled rainfall.
On the west part of Longjing Village lies Sun-Setting Valley,
which is where today's Central Longjing is.
monk by the name of Eloquence in the Northern Song (960-1127
AD) retired into the valley as a hermit. The monk had a Buddhist
temple built in the valley called Shousheng Temple which was
renamed as Yan'en Yianqing Temple in the Southern Song).
Eloquence made friends with a lot of men of letters including
Su Dongpo (1037-1101), an eminent poet in Chinese literary history.
To treat these friends, the monk had planted a plot of tea trees
|temple and made tea for them. With time
elapsing, the green tea at the Dragon Well became famed during
the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The recommended way
of drinking is to put some dried tealeaves into a porcelain
cup before pouring hot water into the cup. By the time of the
Ming Dynasty, the temple erected by Eloquence the monk had long
since fallen into ruins. The temple was built again. Though
it was still officially named after its predecessor, it has
been known simply as Dragon Well Buddhist Monastery.
Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea is famous for its unique fragrance
and flavor, distinguished leaf shape and green color. Dragon
Tea and Tiger Spring match each other so well that they are
rated together as the two superb specialties in Hangzhou. Visiting
the Dragon Well and Sipping Tea there was a visual and oral
pleasure no one could afford to miss during those years.
In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Emperor Qian Long (1736-1795)
visited Longjing Village and enjoyed himself sipping tea. He
wrote some poems, speaking highly of the Dragon Well Tea and
the surrounding landscape.
The emperor was so pleased with the tea he tasted and the scenery
there he experienced that he gave poetic names to eight scenery
spots around Longjing. The royal appreciation greatly boosted
the reputation the Longjing Tea. The Dragon Well Tea has been
popular all over China since then.
In 1985, Tasting of Authentic Longjing Tea at Dragon Well was
selected as one of New Ten Views of West Lake in the city's
efforts to reorganize its tourism business.
The price of authentic Longjing Tea goes up each year, especially
the tea picked between Qing Ming and Grain Rain, that is from
April 5 to April 21. The tea picked at that time of year is
presumably of the highest quality. It is a great pleasure to
visit Longjing during this period. Farmers are busy picking
and processing tealeaves and their work produce fragrance overflowing
all over the Dragon Well. Tourists love to visit the Dragon
Well during this time so as to see farmers working, taste the
first batch of the best tea in the springtime, and ask about
tea farming and tea anecdotes.
||Qianjian Sub-branch MBLCR
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
||No 31 Hupao (Tiger
Running) Road Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
||No 5 Bus or No