Ever since the first consumption of tea in China dated sometime between 2700 BC and 220AD, tea has became an important component of Chinese daily life. With hundreds of different varieties of green tea to choose from, the Chinese favored the Dragon Well by making it the most widely consumed green tea. When Mao opened China to foreigners during his historically significant first meeting with Nixon, he served him Dragon Well. Below are some of the characteristics to the famous Dragon Well.
There are many different legends all over Asia to explain the origins of Dragon Well. According one legend in China, there was a great drought on Lionís Peak in 250 AD that threatened crops of tea. A monk went to a dragon residing in a nearby spring to pray for rain. The dragon granted the monkís wish and the spring never dried out, hence the name Dragon Well. Today, Dragon Well is grown on the high peaks of the Tieh Mu mountains near Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.
The Dragon Well has four distinct characteristics: 1. flat leaves, 2. jade green color, 3. soft and mellow flavor, 4. sweet, fresh aroma. The mellow flavor of the Dragon Well keeps it from turning bitter like black tea even if itís over-steeped. During the production process, the Dragon Well is dried under a wood-fired wok; this kills enzyme activity and removes the green, grassy taste. The Chinese believes Dragon Well has a cooling effect so itís even more popular during the spring and summer seasons.
All tea comes from the same plant named Camellia sinensis. The method of production creates the different types of tea. Dragon Well and other green tea are produced in such a way that it contains the highest content of antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants are proven to help in the fight against certain cancers, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reduce the likely-hood of getting the flu and other infections, and help reduce the signs of aging. Thereís also enough fluoride found in green tea to aid against plaque and other oral bacteria.
With Dragon Wellís mellow sweet taste and long list of health benefits, itís no wonder that the Chinese has been drinking this tea for centuries. The next time youíre looking for a refreshing cup of tea, we welcome you to try the wonderful Dragon Well.