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Home > Hangzhou Attractions > China National Tea Museum Hangzhou

 

China Nationa Tea Museum Hangzhou

Overview of China National Tea Museum


National Tea Museum is situated in the Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea plantation near West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The museum is clustered around the tea plantations. The function buildings are que disorder. In side the museum, the flower corridors, fake hills, ponds and water-side pavilions are well integrated. So they make it as the park in the south of the Changjiang River where has the clean atmosphere and can feel the closeness to nature.The museum was first built in 1987 and opened to public in April 1991, occupying a total construction area of 3500 square meters (less than one acre).The museum itself is a comprehensive one and has descriptions in English and Chinese.

National Tea Museum is surrounded by groves of tea trees and the area is beautifully manicured


National Tea Museum is the only state-level museum specialized in the theme of tea culture. It is also the largest tea museum in China with the most comprehensive collection of tea utensils and other relative exhibits on view. The museum is made up of five themed buildings: exhibition, tea drinking, tea performance, multiple functions, and international exchanges. The exhibition hall is the main body of the museum. Branching off it are areas dedicated to the history of Chinese tea, tea drinking customs, tea utensils used in past dynasties, and the knowledge surrounding tea culture, and even the complicated process of picking and roasting tea leaf.


Through years of research, China National Tea Museum has created a dozen of tea ceremonies such as Zen tea, West Lake tea ceremony, literati`s tea, grind tea, farmer`s tea, etc. They are not only performed in the museum, but also in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and in other countries including Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Germany. In addition, the ceremonies are played in a lot of Chinese and overseas TV programs.


The museum is divided into mainly 5 sections. The first section talked about the history of tea from its prehistoric beginnings up till the present day. The second section talked about the six kinds of tea and their different varieties and where they are produced. There were examples of many varieties on display. The third section talked about the processing techniques of tea and had examples of some of the machines used in produced Chinese tea. The fourth section is the antique tea utensils exhibition. There were tea cups and pots from thousands of years ago until the Qing Dynasty on display. And finally, it is the tea house section where you can have different teas to taste, guided through it by a pleasant girl wearing traditional silk dress. Into tiny cups she poured tea steeped carefully for 30 or 40 seconds: oolong, green, one-leaf, pu-erh and jasmine, just to name a few. When ready, the tea is transferred to a glass pot so you can see it. And it is time to enjoy the good tea.

The ancient teapot exhibited at China National Tea Museum



National Tea Museum plays an important role on the tea stage and offers the chance and space for international research and exchange about tea and tea culture. So far, the museum has been a hot tourist spot and an educational base that attracts millions of people from both home and abroad. Undoubtedly, National Tea Museum will help begin a new era in tea development.

How to get China National Tea Museum


Address: 88#,Longjing Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Tel: 0571-87964221/87964232
Fax:0571-87982096

Opening Hours: 8:30-16:30 (Oct. 8 - the next Apr. 30); 9:00-17:00 (May 1 - Oct. 7) Close on Monday

Transport: Take bus 27 or Y3 (Tourism Bus Line 3) and get off at Shuangfeng Station

 

Legends of Dragon Well Tea in Hangzhou


There are many legends surrounding the naming of the tea. It is named after a single well, named as you would imagine, the Dragon Well. Located in Dragon Well Village, the well was located behind the Dragon Well Temple which was built over 1,700 years ago.

Legend #1 According to the first legend, locals when digging the well found a stone shaped like a dragon and so they named the well Dragon Well.

Legend #2 The wells water is particularly dense and after rainstorms, the lighter rain water floats on the surface of the water and exhibits a twisting pattern which resembles the long and sinuous body of Chinese dragons. I have personally witnessed this effect.

Legend #3 This is my personal favorite. Locals believe that in the ancient past, a benevolent dragon lived in the well. He controlled the weather and ensured that the area had enough rain. Locals would pray to the dragon and bring him offerings.

History and Legends of Dragon Well Tea

Longjing tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or Imperial tea, in Qing Dynasty by Chinese emperor Kangxi. According to the legend, Kangxi's grandson Qianlong visited West Lake during one of his famous holidays.

He went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan) and was presented with a cup of Longjing tea. In front of the Hu Gong Temple were 18 tea bushes. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the Longjing tea produced here that he conferred these 18 tea bushes special imperial status. The trees are still living and the tea they produce is auctioned annually for more money per gram than gold.

the dragon well tea in the exquisite tea sets

There is another legend connecting Emperor Qianlong to Longjing Tea. It is said that while visiting the temple he was watching the ladies picking the tea. He was so enamored with their movements that he decided to try it himself. While picking tea he received a message that his mother, the Empress Dowager 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 and he immediately had it brewed for her. It is said that the shape of Longjing Tea was designed to mimic the appearance of the flattened leaves that the emperor brewed for his mother.

Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is said to have named after a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.

Legend also has it that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, water from the Dreaming of the Tiger Spring, a famous spring in Hangzhou, is to be used. The water quality of the spring now is certainly very different than before


Dragon Well Tea Plantation


Longjing Village is the most real and original place where produces Dragon Well tea in Hangzhou! You can see the real tea field! It was once visited by Queen Elisabeth and Bill Clinton and other famous Prime Minister and governors.

Picking tea leaves.

Dragon well tea Village is located southwest of West Lake scenic area, surrounded by mountains, trending from north to south, and the village resident population of about 800 people. It has nearly 800 acres of high mountain tea garden. In the northwest of the village, there are Beigao Peak, Lion Peak, Tianzhu Peak. They become the natural barrier to resist breeze wind. In the south, there is a streamlet called Nanxi. This creek valley is vary wide, and it straight towards Qiantang River. Southeast wind blow into the valley in spring and summer. So ventilation makes the tea grow well and geography conditions provide a unique advantage.

In this area, the tea booth (Chatan) and small tea house (Chaliao) existed longtime ago. During the Song Dynasty, Chasi and Chafang, where tea was sold, were already ubiquitous. The tea shop industry was further developed in the Ming Dynasty. At the same time, the business of selling big bowls of tea began prosperous in Beijing and was included as a formal industry into 360 industries. During the Qing Dynasty, since the Manchu aristocracy often spent their time in tea houses, they become important activity places for people from all walks of life, such as high officials, merchants and underlings, there. To the Chinese people, tea house, similar to the cafes in western countries, are social places where various kinds of social information are gathered and spread and where customers taste tea and talk about birds, news and daily things. In order to attract customers, stages are built in some tea houses to play tom-tom, Storytelling (Pingshu) and Beijing opera, making these tea houses amusement places. The drama Tea House, written by famous Chinese writer Lao She, revealed vividly the unstable society of the last phase of the Qing Dynasty through describing various kinds of peoples words and behaviors in a tea house.

 

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