文 By: 許玉蓮 Hooi Yoke Lien
Every spring, we are craving for Long Jing green tea from Meijiawu tea village.
Hailed from Zhejiang Province in China, Long Jing green tea leaves are planted in first-level state protected area – West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou. An environment blessed with luxuriantly green tea trees, mild and humid weather is the norm at the tea garden. As drizzle often showers the garden's fertile soil, the ecology is ideal for the growth of Long Jing green tea leaves.
Given current growth of tea leaves in Meijiawu tea village, if the weather remains pleasant – sufficient sunshine, alternating sunny and rainy days – it will spur the growth of tea sprouts. The earliest harvest of Long Jing green tea leaves is expected to fall on late March. It is essential that the harvest of Long Jing green tea leaves has to take place before Qingming festival each year so as to expose the leaves' freshness and purity.
The tea maker who fries the tea leaves shall have nimble hands with light and gentle movement. To produce quality tea leaves, the control of stove fire is a crucial element. The tea maker shall be meticulous about the friction between his hands and tea leaves, amongst tea leaves themselves, as well as tea leaves and the pan. The tea maker's meticulousness will decide the smooth and flat surface of the leaves so as to ensure additional fragrance. Needless to say, the production of Long Jing green tea leaves is an impeccable presentation of handicraft artwork.