Dragon Well Tea (龙井茶)
Longjing tea (simplified Chinese: 龙井茶; traditional Chinese: 龍井茶; pinyin: lóngjǐng chá), also known as Dragon Well tea, is a variety of green tea from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China where it is produced mostly by hand and has been renowned for its high quality, earning the China Famous Tea title.
Long Jing is often called the national drink of China and is frequently given to visiting heads of state. It is also a favorite tea of today's top leaders, with a portion of production reserved for government customers.
Like most other Chinese green tea, Longjing tea leaves are heated early in processing (after picking) to stop the natural "fermentation" process, which is a part of creating black and oolong teas. In the world of tea, the term "fermentation" refers to the actions of natural enzymes, present in the leaves, on the juices and tissues of the leaf; this is not "fermentation" in the true sense of the term (as, for example, the action of yeast in producing beer). The actions of these enzymes is stopped by 'firing' (heating in pans) or by steaming the leaves before they completely dry out. As is the case with other green teas (and 'white teas'), Longjing tea leaves are therefore "unfermented." When steeped, the tea produces a yellow-green color, a gentle, pure aroma, and a rich flavor. The tea contains Vitamin C, amino acids, and has one of the highest concentrations of catechins among teas, second only to white teas.
Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is named after a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.
This tea features a remarkable form: smooth and completely flattened along the interior side of the leaf. Dragonwell also has a nutty and buttery texture, enjoyably dry finish and sweet, rounded taste, perhaps reminding of freshly cooked white corn. A real fulfilling cup of tea.
Lung Ching in fact translates to 'dragon's well', and it relates to a local well that, according to the legend, is the dragon's hideout. The tea has been demonstrated as a testimony to many generations of Chinese emperors, and was the tea offered to Richard Nixon in his worth remembering convergence with Mao Tse-tung. It is highly appreciated for its four uniques: light green color, vegetative odor, relaxing chestnut savor and singular form.
History and Legends
Dragonwell has its origins in Hangzhou district, the Zhejiang province. It is cultivated in the mountainous surface where the weather and rainfall are bountiful year round. Legend says about some priests who told the villagers that if they say a prayer to the dragon who lived not far from a spring, he would bring rain. People thought that the spring was linked to the sea underground and the dragon could give them new water. They prayed to the dragon and the rain finally came. That place and monastery took the name of Dragon Well, being kept till today.
Meticulously pulled in early spring when they are full of fragrance and have a silvery radiance, attentive hands turn and crush the dried leaves in a firing pottery until they get their usual flat form. The procedure necessitates ability to keep the temperatures required for high quality, savor and volume.
Usually, the leaves are not removed out from the boiled water, as they would continue to extract more flavor while drinking. Even if generally these are steeped only one time because the boiled water cooks them, you can extort more cups if the leaves do not soak for too long. Dragonwell can be savored with a small spoon of sugar or even honey, although the original fragrance of the tea can be also enjoyed alone. Although it has a sharper taste, this tea has basically the same characteristics as black tea; a small amount of sugar conferring it the same sweetness.
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Longjing tea, en.wikipedia.org