Long Jing

About the Famous Long Jing (Dragon Well) Green Tea

A handheld basket full of pristine green Shifeng Longjing tea leaves just plucked from the bush.
Pristine Shifeng Longjing leaves just plucked from the bush.

The most famous green tea in China is certainly Long Jing, which is grown in the mountains around the West Lake area of Hangzhou in the central coastal province of Zhejiang. This is an area believed by the Chinese to be proof of Heaven on Earth. Long Jing, or Dragon Well, was named after a well near the Old Long Jing Temple some 1700 years ago. One legend goes that while digging this well during the Ming Dynasty, the person found a unique dragon-shaped stone and from that time on called it Dragon Well. Once designated for tribute tea, it is frequently found listed among the “Ten Famous Teas of China” or Zhong Guo Shi Da Ming Cha 中国十大名茶 .

Long Jing tea was made famous by the Qing Emperors who loved Hangzhou City, most notably by Emperor Qian Long. While visiting Hu Gong Temple, Emperor Qian Long thought so highly of the Long Jing he claimed the eighteen bushes for himself ranking them as Tribute Tea Trees. These trees still exist and visitors can view and admire these vibrant trees at the foot of Shi Feng Mountain.

The First Four Types of Long Jing

Two sprigs of fresh plucked longjing tea side by side in someone's palm. One is noticeably shorter than the other.
The pluckings from the original quntizhong bush used for Longjing (left) are smaller than the most popular clonal cultivar, Longjing #43 (right), which is both more productive and flushes earlier in the spring.

During the Qing Dynasty, there were four general types, coming from 13 different villages in the West Lake Mountains. They were Shi (Lion), Long (Dragon), Yun (Cloud), Hu (Tiger). In 1949, the Chinese government standardized it to be three: Shi Feng Long

Jing (Lion Peak Dragon Well), Mei Wu Long Jing and Xi Hu Long Jing (West Lake Long Jing). Shi Feng Long Jing is considered the highest quality Long Jing. Since experts have identified the original place of West Lake Long Jing to be in Shi Feng, it is the only place that has the honor to contribute tea for China Zhong Nan Hai (general name for Chinese political men and statesmen). Its environment is said to be favored by God, with heaving ridges and peaks, tiny streams, and rich green forests. During spring time, it has average rainfall with mist that engulfs the mountains and plains. Its geographical position and sandy soil is highly favorable to growing superior tea leaves. It is composed of four villages Weng Jia Shan, Long Jing Chun, Yang Mei Qi Chun and Man Jue Long Chun.

About Our Longjing Tea Master: Mr. Weng Shang Yi

An elderly man with short grey hair expertly tossing tea leaves in a hot wok with both hands.
The late and well missed Weng Shangyi, longtime Longjing tea master, traditionally wok-frying tea by hand.

At Seven Cups, we are privileged to be the first foreign company to offer Shi Feng Long Jing directly from Weng Jia Shan, so named because all the villagers have the same family name Weng. Master Weng Shang Yi has been hand making this tea for over 60 years. He only makes tea that is destined to bear the GONG trademark denoting it as a Tribute Tea. There is no better. Long Jing lovers will certainly enjoy having some of this remarkable tea.