West Lake Dragon Well Tea, also known as Chinese Longjing Tea. It is a type of green tea grown in the Zhejiang province of China. The green color, delicate aroma, mellow taste, and exquisite form of West Lake Dragon Well tea have made it China’s most renowned tea.
Not only does Dragon Well Tea have a unique and delicious flavor, but it also boasts many health benefits. It has been consumed for centuries due to its many potential health benefits.
This article will explore how West Lake Dragon Well Tea may help to improve health and wellbeing as well as discuss its traditional uses in Chinese culture. Its unique combination of minerals and compounds may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.
Why West Lake Dragon Well Tea is Popular and Offers Many Benefits?
Longjing tea’s rapid growth is aided by the fact that it is grown in the best geography environment. Which has excellent water resources around West Lake. As stated in the adage “Longjing tea is the finest of all teas in the world, and Longjing tea comes from Lion Peak Mountain.”
Its popularity has spread across the world, as its health benefits and unique flavor have made it a favorite of many tea connoisseurs. This tea is said to have originated in the West Lake region of Hangzhou City nearly 1,200 years ago. Since then, it has since become a highly regarded beverage due to its amazing taste and numerous health benefits.
West Lake Dragon Well Tea stands apart from other varieties with its superior quality leaves. That are flat and smooth with an emerald-green color when brewed.
It’s also characterized by a sweet aroma with chestnut notes. A distinct flavor that’s both nutty and vegetal with no bitterness or astringency on the palate.
History of Cultivating Longjing Tea in China
The history of Longjing Tea, one of China’s most beloved teas, dates back more than 1,200 years. It is said to have originated in the West Lake region of Zhejiang Province during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).
Originally known as “Dragon Well” tea for its curving shape resembling a dragon’s well. Tt was later renamed Longjing when the Emperor Qianlong visited Hangzhou and personally tasted the tea in 1793. Since then, Longjing has been considered one of China’s finest teas.
Longjing is typically handmade from unoxidized leaves that are heated and then dried quickly over hot charcoal or wood fire. Once cooled, these leaves produce an emerald green infusion with a sweet aroma and vibrant flavor that is enjoyed by many throughout China today.
Dragon Well Tea Processing
Here is the general process of cultivating and producing Chinese Dragon Well tea:
1. Cultivation: Chinese Dragon Well tea is typically grown on small family-run farms in the West Lake region. The tea plants are carefully tended and pruned to ensure optimal growth and health.
2. Plucking: The tea leaves are hand-picked by skilled workers, who select only the tender, young leaves and buds for use in Dragon Well tea. This is typically done in the early spring, when the tea plants are at their peak of growth.
3. Withering: After plucking, the tea leaves are spread out on bamboo mats to wither, which helps to reduce their moisture content and make them more pliable. This process can take several hours to a full day, depending on the weather and humidity levels.
4. Pan-firing: The withered tea leaves are then pan-fired in a wok or large iron pan over high heat. This process helps to halt the oxidation process, which preserves the tea’s natural green color and flavor.
5. Shaping: After pan-firing, the tea leaves are shaped into their signature flat, spear-like shape using a variety of techniques, such as hand-rolling, pressing, or machine rolling.
6. Drying: The shaped tea leaves are then dried to remove any remaining moisture and to preserve their freshness. This can be done using a variety of methods, such as sun-drying or oven-drying.
7. Sorting: Once the tea leaves are fully dried, they are sorted and graded based on their size, shape, and quality.
8. Packaging: Finally, the sorted and graded tea leaves are packaged in a variety of forms, such as loose leaf, tea bags, or bricks, and then shipped to markets around the world.
Overall, the process of cultivating and producing Chinese Dragon Well tea is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that requires a great deal of skill and attention to detail. However, the end result is a high-quality green tea with a delicate, refreshing flavor and a beautiful, bright green color.
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Health Benefits of Longjing Tea
Green tea in general is known to have numerous potential health benefits, and Dragon Well tea is no exception. Here are some of the possible health benefits of drinking Dragon Well tea:
Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants, which are compounds that help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. These free radicals are believed to contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants may help to reduce the risk of these diseases.
Some research suggests that green tea may have a positive effect on heart health. It may help to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular issues.
Some studies have suggested that green tea may help with weight loss by increasing metabolism and fat oxidation. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Green tea has been shown to improve cognitive function and may help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Some studies have suggested that green tea may have anticancer properties and may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
How to prepare or Make a Cup of Longjing Tea?
Here is a general guide on how to prepare a cup of Longjing tea:
Step 1: Gather your materials. You will need some Longjing tea leaves, a teapot or small teapot, and some hot water. It’s also helpful to have a tea strainer or infuser if you are using loose leaf tea.
Step 2: Rinse your teapot and cups. To remove any dust or impurities, rinse your teapot and cups with hot water. This will also help to warm the pot and cups, which will help to preserve the tea’s flavor.
Step 3: Measure the tea leaves. For a traditional Chinese-style tea service, use about 3 grams of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water. You can adjust this ratio to your personal taste preferences.
Step 4: Heat the water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then let it cool for a few minutes until it reaches around 185-195 degrees Fahrenheit. Longjing tea is best brewed at a slightly lower temperature than other types of tea to preserve its delicate flavor.
Step 5: Steep the tea. Place the tea leaves in your teapot or infuser, and pour the hot water over them. Steep the tea for about 1-2 minutes, depending on your desired strength. You can adjust the steeping time to your personal taste preferences.
Step 6: Serve the tea- Pour the brewed tea into your cups, being careful to strain out any loose leaves. You can serve the tea as is, or you can add honey, lemon, or other flavors to your preference.
It’s important to note that this is just a general guide, and there are many variations on how to prepare Longjing tea. Some people prefer to use a gaiwan (a small lidded bowl) to brew the tea, while others prefer to use a teapot. Experiment with different brewing techniques and find the method that works best for you.