Dragon Well tea is the most famous of Chinese green tea that is known for its wonderful taste and amazingly fine quality. It is also a tea with a long history with its production dating back 1,500 years ago. According Cha-Jing (the world’s first tea book written by Lu Yu), it was recorded as early as Song Dynasty. Two fascinating legends have been passed down through generations and they are definitely worth to read to make your experience of this drinking Dragon Well tea even better.
Legend of Dragon Well
Long ago, a tea elf had 8 teacups and always used them to brew teas for his guests in fairyland. One day many gods came and visited his home, the elf was panicking and dropped one cup to the human world. The god Dongbing helped him to go to the human world and told him he had only one chance to get the cup back. The elf went down to the mountain in Shifeng (one of the Legendary Dragon Well Green Tea Villages). He believed his cup was there but he couldn’t find it. Searching for a whole day, he was tired and thirty. Fortunately, he found an old lady who was brewing teas and she was very nice to give him a cup of tea. Then he found the tea water tasted like his. Thus he asked the old lady where the water and the tea came from. She pointed to a well not far away and said the well appeared long ago after something dropped from the sky. The water was from the well and the teas were irrigated by the water. At that moment, the elf knew that his cup became this well long time ago since one day in the fairyland is equal to many years in the human world. To thank the old lady for treating him cordially, he decided to leave the cup there and turned back to fairyland. He told this story to some of his dragon friends and they sometimes visit the well and drink water from there. Then this well has become very important for the local green teas and therefore is named after the Well visited by Dragons
Legend of 18 tea trees beside the Dragon Well
Then many years passed, the old lady’s house became a famous temple called “Hugong”. And 18 tea trees, irrigated by the water from Dragon Well, were planted outside of it. In Qing Dynasty, an emperor called Qianlong came to Hangzhou and visited Hugong temple. When he was picking teas from the tea trees outside the temple, he received a message that his mother was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves. Qianlong decided to immediately brew a cup of tea made from the Dragon Well tea leaves for her. The holy tea cured her disease. The Emperor was very grateful and gave the 18 tea trees Imperial status. Since then, Dragon Well tea became the tribute tea to emperors.
Until today, the 18 tea trees remain at the Shifeng Mountain and attract thousands of tourists all over the world.