Monday, 12 September 2016

Tea More Expensive Than Gold

In the east of China, not far south of Shanghai, is the city of Hangzhou.

The city lies on the bank of the West Lake, a World Heritage Site that attracts millions of visitors every year, attracted by the picturesque landscape dotted with temples, pagodas and pavillions.

Just across the water, set amidst rolling, forested hills, are some of China's most famous tea plantations. Here on the terraced slopes, women wearing traditional conical hats are seen tending the bushes or picking the leaves.
Longjing tea is among the most expensive drinks in the world costing up to £800 per kilo.
The village of Longjing takes its name from The Dragon's Well a small pool of water fed by a spring and in which the movement of water on the surface is said to resemble a dragon. Another legend tells that a dragon lives in the water and can reach the sea through an underground channel. Just above the well is the tiny Dragon Well Temple.
The village street is lined with tea houses where women entice passers-by to try the beverage. A popular museum is devoted to the history of tea.
Longjing has the status of an Imperial Tea, granted by an 18th century Emperor. On a visit to the West Lake, he sampled the brew and being so impressed, granted protection to 18 tea bushes. These same plants are still producing leaf which when auctioned fetches a price higher than gold.
Longjing is a green tea, roasted shortly after picking and prepared by hand. The tea is said to
be at its best when infused in a special clay teapot in water at a temperature of 80 degrees.

You perhaps wont find Longjing tea in your local Tesco but if you would like to try the drink, Twinings, and other suppliers, offer a 100g pack for the modest price of £15 - £18.




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