Longjing Tea Plantation
During the week, I visited the Longjing (Dragonwell) Tea Plantation which was located in the vicinity of XiHu (West Lake). Being an avid consumer of tea, especially green tea, back in Singapore, I was more than excited to visit this tea plantation and to sample their local freshly brewed tea. Little did I know, Longjing tea was rated the best green tea in China and is actually one of the most famous and sought after tea brand worldwide. They even have about 1000 years of history, dating back to the 13th century!
In order to get the best view of the tea plantation, we challenged ourselves by climbing the highest hill in the plantation. Not knowing that the route was 10 kilometers long and with the sun being at its strongest, oh how tough our life was on the way up. But my oh my was it worth it, the view at the top was really magical. The nicely terraced hillside and the lush greenery of the tea leaves really made this place so surreal and I could see why it was so highly recommended by the locals and tour websites.
At the end of this route, we stopped by one of their local tea chains where we were served with their freshly produced tea leaves. The staff there were really polite and dedicated to teaching us their tea culture, she showed us the different grades of the green tea produced. she then told us the best temperature to drink the tea and allowed us to sample the different grades. Over there, they believe that everyone has their own personal preference for tea taste and would not advertise the higher grade/ more expensive tea. Fortunately for me, I really enjoyed the taste of one of the mid-tier teas which were already very expensive. If they’d pushed harder for their more premium grade teas, as a tea fanatic I might have just succumbed to the pressure and spend more money for a tea that I did not enjoy as much.