What are the varieties of Longjing tea trees?

What are the varieties of Longjing tea trees?

Longjing tea, one of China's most celebrated green teas, comes from several tea tree varieties, each contributing to the tea's distinctive flavor, aroma, and appearance. The choice of cultivar plays a crucial role in determining the quality and characteristics of the final product. Here's a closer look at some of the primary tea tree varieties used to produce Longjing tea:

Longjing 43 (龙井43号): Developed through selective breeding, this cultivar is renowned for its high yield and resistance to cold weather. It is often harvested early in the spring, producing tea with a delicate and sweet flavor. The buds and leaves are uniform, contributing to the tea's appealing appearance.

Qunti Zhong (群体种): Also known as the original or traditional Longjing variety, Qunti Zhong is native to the West Lake region. It is prized for its classic Longjing flavor profile, which includes a sweet, vegetal taste with a hint of chestnut. This variety is less productive than Longjing 43 but is highly valued for its superior quality.

Wuniuzao (乌牛早): As one of the earliest budding Longjing varieties, Wuniuzao is harvested at the beginning of the spring season. The tea made from this cultivar is highly sought after due to its limited availability and exceptional quality, featuring a fresh, light, and subtly sweet flavor.

These cultivars are primarily grown in the Zhejiang province around the West Lake area, including designated regions such as Shifeng, Meijiawu, and other recognized production areas. The specific environmental conditions of these areas, including soil type, temperature, and humidity, play a significant role in the unique characteristics of Longjing tea.