Brief of Inquiring about Tea at Dragon Well
Hidden amid the dense forest of Phoenix Hill off the southern shore of West Lake, Inquiring about Tea at Dragon Well keeps attracting tea aficionados like a magnet. Incorporating postcard-perfect natural scenery and rich cultural connotations, it shines as a sparkling gem among West Lake’s treasured sites.
The charm of Inquiring about Tea at Dragon Well lies not only in its crystal-clear spring with unmatched purity, but also in its myriad legends responsible for its enduring charm and legacy. Appreciating the ripples of the Dragon Well, drinking its spring water and siping a cup of Longjing tea are three must-dos. Though serene and out of the way, this place receives a regular stream of visitors daily.
West Lake is encircled by hills on three sides, which nurture countless brooks, streams and pools. Among these water features, Dragon Well Spring, Jade Spring and Tiger Spring rank as West Lake’s Top Three Springs. Blessed with superb water, each differs with the rest in various ways. The Dragon Well bewilders tourists by a rare phenomenon: ripples form in the likeness of a dragon’s beards when you stir the well’s water with a stick.
Another highlight is Dragon Well Tea, or Longjing tea, a variety which is among the best green tea in China. Dragon Well green tea falls into four varieties: Lion, Dragon, Cloud and Tiger, which are named after their plantations dispersed along West Lake respectively: Lion Peak (Shifeng), Dragon Well (Longjing), Clouds Lingering (Yunqi) and Tiger Spring (Hupao). Among them, “Lion Peak Dragon Well Tea” rates the best. The identifying traits of Dragon Well Tea are green color, fragrant aroma, a sweet and lingering taste as well as a smooth appearance. Experts usually use a glass cup to brew a cup of Dragon Well tea, enabling an amazing visual enjoyment as the green leaves unfurl elegantly within steamy hot water.
Emperor Qianlong, who contributed much romance to West Lake by leaving many works of calligraphy, was taken by this site instantly after he enjoyed a cup of aromatic Dragon Well tea. The 18 tea trees planted by him are appreciated by tourists all over the world.
The best time to visit Inquire about Tea at Dragon Well is around Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Festival), occurring around April 5th of the Gregorian calendar.