Longjang Cha (Dragonwell Green Tea)

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.

Teapot and teacup

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.

Fresh tea leaves

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.

A field of tea leaves

Although I have yet to experience a day of tea leaf picking, perhaps it’s something I’ll need to put on my bucketlist. 🙂


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