Our Travelers in Longjing Village
An eminent monk by the name of Eloquence in the Northern Song (960-1127 AD) retired into the valley as a hermit. The monk had a Buddhist temple built in the valley called Shousheng Temple which was renamed as Yan'en Yianqing Temple in the Southern Song).
Eloquence made friends with a lot of men of letters including Su Dongpo (1037-1101), an eminent poet in Chinese literary history. To treat these friends, the monk had planted a plot of tea trees around the temple and made tea for them. With time elapsing, the green tea at the Dragon Well became famed during the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The recommended way of drinking is to put some dried tealeaves into a porcelain cup before pouring hot water into the cup. By the time of the Ming Dynasty, the temple erected by Eloquence the monk had long since fallen into ruins. The temple was built again. Though it was still officially named after its predecessor, it has been known simply as Dragon Well Buddhist Monastery.
In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Emperor Qian Long (1736-1795) visited Longjing Village and enjoyed himself sipping tea. He wrote some poems, speaking highly of the Dragon Well Tea and the surrounding landscape.
In 1985, Tasting of Authentic Longjing Tea at Dragon Well was selected as one of New Ten Views of West Lake in the city's efforts to reorganize its tourism business.
The price of authentic Longjing Tea goes up each year, especially the tea picked between Qing Ming and Grain Rain that is from April 5 to April 21. The tea picked at that time of year is presumably of the highest quality. It is a great pleasure to visit Longjing during this period. Farmers are busy picking and processing tealeaves and their work produce fragrance overflowing all over the Dragon Well. Tourists love to visit the Dragon Well during this time so as to see farmers working, taste the first batch of the best tea in the springtime, and ask about tea farming and tea anecdotes.