When I did my grand journey around China, I visited a city called Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province. This city is well known for making a type of green tea called longjang cha. There are many types of green teas out there, but dragonwell green tea is one of the really exquisite ones. A small container costs about $40 and the price tag is probably a lot more hefty now, seeing as that was several years ago.
Unlike the unauthentic, processed green teas made by major corporations who shall go unscathed, dragonwell green tea is a true tea. It is prepared with fully dried leaves and hot water. It can be brewed multiple times and still be able to produce a strong flavour. Dragonwell tea has a very dark roast, vegetal taste to it and this is the result of each leaf being toasted until it reaches it’s ideal flavour profile. It has a heavy richness to it with some nuttiness. It’s meant to be good for your immune system and contains many antioxidants.
Even though I always knew tea was made from leaves, I never really took into account how long it takes to pluck each leaf to produce one cannister. I personally enjoy berry picking, but I can’t imagine all the hard work that is put into picking each leaf off a bush in such humid temperatures – especially since they are more-or-less all the same colour. Below is a picture of a typical tea leaf farm in Hangzhou. Possessing untrained eyes, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack for me.
Although I have yet to experience a day of tea leaf picking, perhaps it’s something I’ll need to put on my bucketlist. 🙂