Long Jing Tea Varieties
A Prince Among Clones

Long Jing tea popularity means that it is now cultivated throughout China. There are a lot of varieties – making it the most complex Chinese green tea to unravel.



It is not one, but many.

This tea can be classified into 3 categories

  • those produced in West Lake (Xihu)

  • those produced outside West Lake in the Zhejiang Province

  • those produced elsewhere.

West Lake (Xihu)

West Lake consists of 168 square kilometers of National Designated Protected Zone. Only the tea grown here can be called Xihu Longjing.

Buyers have to exercise great care when buying. There are about 30 different varieties just in West Lake alone.

Historically, Xihu Long Jing tea was classified into four regions: Lion (Shi), Dragon (Long), Cloud (Yun) and Tiger (Hu).

The distinctions blurred over the years. By the 1980s, this categorization was adjusted to Lion Peak, Mei Jia Wu and others.

Lion Peak

This is the most authentic of Xihu teas. It corresponds to the former Lion and Dragon regions.

There is a famous Chinese saying:

The world's famous tea can be found in Long Jing, the top Long Jing can be found in the Lion Peak.

Although not widely known in the West, the Lion Peak tea has always been considered the best in China. They grow in the Lion Peak Mountain up to an altitude 1,000 feet.

West Lake is divided into Grade 1 and 2 Protected Zone. The best Lion Peak is grown in the older Grade 1 Protected Zone around the Lion Peak.

It is fresh tasting with a sharp, long fragrance and yellowish green appearance.

Meijiawu

It corresponds to the former Cloud region.

Next best to the Lion Peak. It is very attractive with its slender look and glossy, jade green color.

Mei Jia Wu growers are much better in marketing their tea than their Lion Peak counterpart. This tea is therefore more widely available in the West.


Outside West Lake

Long Jing tea is grown in other parts of the Zhejiang Province. The two broad categories are Qian Tang and Yue Zhou.

There are many different varieties. The following are highly regarded:

Qian Tang

  • He Shan (鹤山) Long Jing from Fu Yang (富阳).

Yue Zhou

  • Da Fo (大佛) Long Jing from Xin Chang (新昌).

  • Yue Xiang (越乡) Long Jing from Sheng Zhou (嵊州).

  • Hui Ji (会稽) Long Jing from Shao Xing (绍兴).

Companies and Brands

  • Huang Di Pai or Emperor Brand(皇帝牌)

  • Tian Ci Pai (天赐牌)

Teas cultivated outside the Zhejiang Province is often called a fake.

Unscrupulous vendors take fresh tea leaves produced in Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces and process them using the Long Jing tea techniques.


43 Variety

This is a new variety created in the last 20 years. It is now cultivated in 14 provinces throughout China, including West Lake villages such as Mei Jia Wu and Long Jing village.

It is popular among growers because it can be cropped about 10 days earlier than the traditional varieties. It is also more productive and attractive looking.

43 Variety is jade green in color with yellowish edge.

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