The origins of our Dragon Well Longjing Chinese Green Tea
Eye-catching emerald-green flat leaves are the hallmark of our No. 56 Dragon Well, or Longjing, tea – a Great Taste Awards winner. One of China's most prestigious speciality teas, Dragon Well is renowned for its mellow, delicate flavour with nutty undertones and for being an imperial favourite during the Qing dynasty.
Our high quality single-origin loose-leaf Dragon Well (Long Jing) green tea has an exquisite fresh umami flavour with hints of chestnut and grassy meadow. Its soft yellow hue is reflected in a buttery mouthfeel and floral sweetness that make it a good contender for all green tea lovers and the beverage can be enjoyed chilled or hot.
Those flat, feather-shaped tea leaves result from it being pan-roasted by hand, a process that helps preserve its fresh, spring-like aroma while imparting a strong scent of toasted grass.
Also preserved are high levels of the plant-derived antioxidants called catechins, plus vitamin C and amino acids, making Dragon Well green tea the perfect pick-me-up at any time of day.
Where does Dragon Well tea come from?
Often referred to as the national drink of China, Dragon Well is also known as Longjing, or Lung Ching, tea. Today, it's often presented as a gift to visiting heads of state – a tradition that goes back to the 17th-century court of Emperor Kangxi – and ranks as one of the country's 10 most famous teas.
True Longjing tea comes from West Lake, a district on the outskirts of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province China, on the country's eastern seaboard. (The pinyin for West Lake is Xihu, so you may see some Longjing referred to as Xihu Longjing. ) This 168-square-kilometre West Lake area is a National Designated Protected Zone and revered as one of China's most iconic tea-growing districts.
Within West Lake are the four original Longjing tea villages, of which the best known are Xifeng (aka Shi Feng or Lion Peak) and Mejiawu. The finest Longjing is generally accepted as coming from Xifeng. This is where our Dragon Well tea is grown from the Jui Keng cultivar – harvested between March and April, with only one bud and two leaves painstakingly selected and plucked before being laid out to wither in the sun. The tea is then transferred to large woks, where it is pan-fried and shaped by hand – a skill that can take years to perfect and creates distinctive flatted leaves synonymous with this benchmark Chinese tea.
Discover more loose leaf green tea like this
If you love this tea, see also our sustainably-grown Organic Dragon Well from West Lake, certified pesticide-free, and our antioxidant-rich Anji Bai Cha, also from Zhejiang province. Hailing from Fujian, Mao Feng is aromatic and refreshing, while our Jasmine Green Tea is another delightfully delicate and smooth brew infused with plenty of spring floral notes.
Read more about the history of Dragon Well Tea and how it's processed in our Tea Journal.
For a traditional tea experience and a fuller flavour, we recommend drinking Dragon Well tea from a Yixing Clay teapot. As with our other Chinese teas, you can also brew the tea in one of our luxury Gaiwans.