“Longjin” means dragon well in Chinese. So like the name suggests – there’s gotta be a well somewhere which the village was named from – and here it is.
It’s a tradition to come wash your hands by the well if you happen to come by. You need to use up all the water that you pulled up, one of the villagers told us, to signify “with a beginning, with an end” (有始有终).
The part of the village that we visited seemed to be the more commercial part of the village without the massive tea plantation I was expecting; perhaps it’s even the adjacent village next to Longjin Village which I wanted to go. Thanks to the taxi driver that took us here, and he obviously knew the villagers around.
There are a lot villagers here operating tea shops from their own home. Since we were already here we decided to go into one of the shops to try the tea as it was difficult to get transport to go to the next place unless you hired a cab for the day.
Can you tell which glass holds the more expensive tea? The top glass is the more expensive one because if you look closer, the tea leaves are more intact where as the second glass has more broken leaves. The taste varies too. The top one is sweeter and the taste sustains longer after a few rounds of hot water whereas the bottom one has a light bitter after-taste and it did not sustain as long after a few rounds of hot water.
The tea room we had tea in is done up nicely with a board that says ”龍井问茶“，meaning enjoying tea at Longjin Village. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was brought to the right village with the tea plantation – where it is also rated among the 10 new scenes of West Lake.
Gary liked the tea so he bought a small packet to bring home , I think it is about RMB200 per 100g. I checked out out a few places in town selling Longjin Tea also and the tea seem to be around the same price too.
Although we didn’t get to the right part of the village, but we were able to visit another beautiful place nearby – Nine Creeks ( jiu xi yan shu 九溪烟树), or poetically known as “Nine Streams by Misty Trees”. We did learn a good lesson here – if you are going to the Longjin Tea Village by taxi, do tell the taxi driver that you want to go to the one with the plantation 🙂