Dragonwell: The Emperor's Tea
Among all the famous Chinese green tea, the most recognized one must be Dragonwell of West Lake, Hangzhou. And it is perhaps the most expensive green tea in China. During spring time every year, tea lovers all over China are longing to taste the freshest taste of the spring flush dragonwell.
Dragonwell was used to be supplied to the Qing royal court and could be deemd as the king of green tea. This legendary tea won the throne because of the Qing Emperor Qiang Lung, who paid multiple visits to the Southern China all the way from his palace in Peking. When he was travelling in Hangzhou, he got the chance to taste Dragonwell and was astounded by its unique chestnut and bean smell. He then appointed it to be the best of all tea and even appointed a spring to brew the precious dragonwell and hence the name dragonwell was born due to the “spring appointed by the emperor”.
Even after all these years, dragonwell perhaps is still among the most famous and favourite green tea among Chinese all over the world. Every year, a lot of tea connoisseurs order the pre-Qing Ming dragonwell (Qing Ming Festival is about 4th to 5th of April every year), which was considered to be of the best quality, after waiting for a year from the previous spring. Spring tea is considered to be the best for green tea, and actually most of the tea in general, as after the long hibernation in winter, the spring sprouts have absored a lot of nutrients and are said to contain more flavours and aroma. We can tell how much dragonwell tea is savoured from the ever rising prices of the pre-Qing Ming draogonwell every year. Due to the sprawning demand of dragonwell, some other neigbhouring regions are also producing dragonwell nowadays.