Monday, July 02, 2007

China Part 10: Hangzhou's Speciality

Just a short post on China trip...

Hangzhou is famous for it's tea leaves, Loong Jing (Dragon Well). Apparently, the tea leaves have been given to V.I.P.'s such as Queen Elizabeth as a gift, so naturally, a trip to the tea plantation is a must. Hangzhou people, according to my tour guide are "lazy" people (she's from Hangzhou herself!). They are quite laid back. As long as they can live comfortably, they are satisfied with that. I think they are quite lucky too, because even their tea trees require very little care. They can be left alone and yet still grow well. Apparently, this is due to the soil and air at Hangzhou. As they don't grow very tall, the owners don't even have to trim them regularly. Most of the workers (actually, from what I can see, ALL)are women. These women have REALLY red cheeks due to the wind chill factor. They'll be hired to pluck the tea leaves while I see men sitting at the many tea houses along the road to the main research centre drinking tea. They can do this the entire day, according to my guide. I wish I could do that and earn money at the same time too. Good quality Loong Jing tea leaves are VERY pricey, and yet, there are many people buying it. My mom is a living proof :P

It is said that Loong Jing tea leaves have many health benefits although I think it is not scientifically proven yet. One good thing (or not?) about Loong Jing is that it has no caffeine, so you can drink it right before going to bed and still sleep like a baby.

I can't remember the name of the research centre, it's right at the end of the road on top of a hill. Here's the plaque with the name on it:


And the tea plantation and the many tourist buses:


Loong Jing tea leaves are very special...so special that it must be roasted with HANDS. This is so that the person roasting it can feel the temperature...it shouldn't be too hot. Those "roasters" surely must have iron hands after doing that for a long time...

Here's the "wok":


Loong Jing tea leaves are also used to cook with freshwater prawns, a supposedly famous dish in Hangzhou. We didn't get to eat any, so I assumed that the reason was the price of the dish. Loong Jing tea leaves can be bought here too, but for the same grade, the price here is MUCH more expensive than what we paid for in China.

Ok, time for a mug of Loong Jing...Tata!

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3 Comments:

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Darke Shard said...

What! A place where the residents just laze around and drink tea? You've... you've found paradise!

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger Steffi the Numbnut said...

Yaaaaaah...they were literally lazing around and drinking tea and it's not even weekends, ok...

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger I am Princess Misha's mum said...

you have a tag from me!

 

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