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 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.
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.
Address: 88#,Longjing Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
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 well’s 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.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.
Duration：6 - 8 Hours
Attractions(Cities)：The hangzhou Westlake(including a boat cruise), Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, Guo Garden, Drangon Well Tea Plantation, Bamboo lined path at Yunqi, Qinghefang Ancient Street
Tour Style：Accompanied by your private knowledgeable guide over 5+ years guiding experience and skillful driver over 10+ years driving experience, explore the best of Hangzhou on a full-day tour. Take a boat ride on West Lake to stay away from the crowds. the placid waters of which have been immortalized throughout history in literature and poetry. Experience a Chinese tea ceremony at Longjing Green Tea Plantation; walk through the Bamboo lined path at Yunqi to fully experience the serenity and beautiful nature of Hangzhou.
Duration：6 - 8 Hours
Attractions(Cities)：The hangzhou Westlake(including the boat cruise), Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, Lingyin Temple and Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Anmanfayun Village, The Song Dynasty Imperial Street
Tour Style：This comprehensive Skip-The-Line full day tour of Hangzhou is perfect for you. Take a boat ride around the UNESCO-listed West Lake, view elegant landscapes at Fish Viewing at Flower Park, visit the secluded Zen monastery of Lingyin Temple, sip tea at Meijiawu Tea Vollage and stroll Song Dynasty Imperial Street. This guided tour lets you skip those queues and head straight into each scenic spot, which make your trip hassel-free and time well spent.
Attractions(Cities)：The hangzhou Westlake(including a boat cruise), Lingyin Temple, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Qinghefang Street, Impression WestLake Show
Tour Style：Discover the famous Paradise City Hangzhou on a fully customized sightseeing day trip from Shanghai by bullet train. Accompanied by your private guide, stroll around Flower Harbor Park and take a relaxing boat on the West Lake. Visit the famous Lingyin temple; See the traditional Meijiawu tea mountain; wonder along the old Hefang Street and enjoy the magnificent Impression Westlake show. Local lunch and dinner, tea tasting at Meijiawu, round trip bullet train tickets, private guide and private vehicle service are inclusive.
Attractions(Cities)：West Lake(Private rowing boat cruise), Guo's Villa, Lingyin Temple, Meijiawu Tea Plantation, Cheng Huang Pavilion
Tour Style：Independent travelers will love the flexibility of this private door to door day tour. This is the ideal tour for travelers with limited time in Hangzhou. Take the stress out of booking train tickets from Shanghai to Hangzhou and planning an itinerary by having everything arranged for you. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide over 5+ years guiding experience and skillful driver over 10+ years driving experience, you'll immerse yourself in its world renowned natural, historical and cultural features.
Duration：2 Days, 1 Night
Attractions(Cities)：The West Lake(including boat cruise on the lake),Guo Garden,China National Tea Museum,Dragon Well Tea Plantation (Meijiawu Tea Village),Leifeng Pagoda,The Song Dynasty Imperial Street,Six Harmonies pagoda, Fish Viewing Flower Pond,Lingyin Temple, etc
Tour Style：As one of seven ancient capitals in China, the rich history and the splendid culture endow Hangzhou with profoundness. Come with us to discover Hangzhou's top attractions in two days. You'll enjoy boat ride on West Lake (Landmark of Hangzhou), Guo Garden, Leifeng Pagoda, etc. On the second day, explore Lingyin Temple, Longjing Tea Plantation (Best Green Tea & China national tea), Bamboo Forest & Ancient street. Take your VIP seat for the Impression West Lake Show.
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