Despite the bad weather conditions in China this spring, our 2010 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing teas have arrived.
This year has been a difficult one for the tea production in many parts of China. Lack of rain and unseasonably cold weather has reduced the quantity of tea plucked and manufactured. Many tea farmers have lost the fresh leaf from early crops while others have had to face the complete loss of tea bushes. Almost no tea area was left untouched by the weather.
Despite the reduction in quantity of tea from this year’s weather related problems, we were still able to obtain the our 2010 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing tea ( tea plucked before April 5th) pretty close to schedule.
Chinese tea enthusiasts believe that the earlier the pluck, the better the tea. And tea enthusiasts in the know are eager for this time of the year as the opportunity for purchasing these special teas is fleeting.
In China, the earliest plucked tea leaves are known as Pre-Qing Ming or Ming Qian teas. Early spring plucking begins in late February to early March ( depending on the province, region, and weather ) and ends on April 5th. Only teas that are plucked during this short time can be sold as such.
Longjing is one of China’s Famous Teas. At one time, the teas on the list ( including Longjing ) were exclusive ‘tributes’ or honor gifts bestowed upon and drunk only by the Chinese Emperors. Longjing is perhaps the most famous of these legendary teas, in part because the city of Hangzhou and the West Lake district ( located in Zhejiang Province ) became the epicenter of refined and expressive artistic tea culture during the Southern Song dynasty.
During its rule, the Southern Song dynasty ( 1127-1279 ) located its capital to the city of Hangzhou. This cosmopolitan city became the artistic center of a blossoming tea culture and the associated arts in China. Hangzhou attracted a literati crowd who found the pagodas, tea drinking pavillions, tea houses, restaurants and local cuisine to be the perfect locale for their leisurely pursuits of painting, poetry-writing, tea drinking contests, and tea wares collecting.
Hangzhou was also the locale of Longjing tea: sweet, slightly nutty pan-fired tea from tea bushes nurtured in the hills surrounding the dreamy mists of West Lake and watered by the pure spring waters that fed the DragonWell. Today, Hangzhou is still famous for its architecture and still exudes an old-fashioned tea culture based on the artistic, pleasurable and restorative nature of tea drinking. Hangzhou draws on the natural beauty of West Lake and all of the lovely pavillions, temples and gardens located along the shores. There is also an abundance of tea houses, tea shops and many fine restaurants that still incorporate fresh Longjing tea into their regional dishes.
And of course, Hangzhou is still famous for Longjing tea. If one is lucky, one might encounter a tea processor pan-firing some fresh leaf in a local tea shop. Longjing tea became famous because of its’s deliciousness, which is a result of many aspects of it’s unique terroir: the combination of good soil, cool air and clean, natural water that are the necessary conditions for excellent tea. Today, dedicated efforts by the tea farmers and tea producers protect the integrity of Longjing by maintaining careful cultivation and production standards. Visitors to this area can visit some of the tea gardens and processing factories, and of course, drink Longjing tea.
We proudly announce the arrival of our 20109 pre-Qing Ming Longjing teas. The flavor of both teas is extraordinary: fresh, buttery, only lightly toasty, creamy and rich, mouth-filling and resplendent of the capricious nature spring.
2010 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Meijiawu Village, Xihu District, Zhejiang Province The most prized Longjing still comes from the original tea growing regions West Lake ( Xi Hu region ), which historically were called Lion, Dragon, Cloud ( Meijiawu Village), Tiger, and Plum. Today, the names have changed, but authentic Longjing tea must come from a place located within the National Designated Protected Zone. This zone is a scant 168 kilometers in area, and all Longjing tea from here is sold under the name of the region or village where it was plucked. The most important places in the Xi Hu region are:
• Shi-feng Mountain
• Meijiawu Village
• Weng-jia Mountain.
2010 Pre-Qing Ming Longjing Dafo Village, Xin Chang County, Zhejiang Province
Delicious Longjing tea has been madein Dafo for many centuries. This fine Longjing is made just outside of the Xi Hu designation in Xin Chang county. There is a long history of tea cultivation and tea drinking in this region: much of it began centuries ago to supply the needs of the resident monks and visiting scholars at the Dafo Buddhist Temple ( constructed 4th century BC). Chinese tea enthusiasts seek out Dafo Longjing for its clean, refreshing flavor and lower price.
Please visit our website: www.teatrekker.com and follow the links on the homepage to order our Pre-Qing Ming Longjing tea