Recently, the West Lake sub-district office under the Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Area Administration Commission partnered with Hangzhou West Lake Investment Group in inviting the 10 most inspiring figures in Hangzhou to the beautiful Longjing tea garden at Meijiawu village. Wang Shuiying, Yao Quangang, Jin Yongxin, and other selected role models participated in the event and got on a trip that allowed them to enjoy the mellow flavor of West Lake Longjing tea and have first-hand experience of the radical changes in the countryside driven by the flourishing tea industry.
As part of the event, participants were shown historical photos, items and documents regarding Zhou Enlai’s early visits to Meijiawu, with which a touching story between Premier Zhou and Longjing tea, between him and the villagers of Meijiawu was pieced together.
Meijiawu was an important stop in Premier Zhou’s work on boosting rural development. Between 1957 and 1963, the Premier paid five visits to the village to guide the development of local tea industry. Following the guidance, Meijiawu stepped up its efforts in fostering local tea industry and later became a first-class plantation of West Lake Longjing tea and a signature attraction for leisure travel in Hangzhou.
In order to further protect and promote the West Lake Longjing tea brand, West Lake Scenic Area has started to build a complete industrial chain since last year, connecting tea fields, tea manufacturers, China National Tea Museum and tea-related state-owned enterprises. Having finished all the land contract procedures, tea fields in the area saw an industry-wide boom under the new operation mechanism in which the government plays a leading role, state-owned enterprises are the major actors, private companies are useful supplements and villagers are important participants.
During the event, Sun Qi, the tea-roasting master, made a real-time demonstration of West Lake Longjing tea roasting and gave a detailed account of the ten steps by hand. Normally, freshly picked tea leaves will first be spread out on the ground with full sun exposure before collected and baked at high temperatures to slow down fermentation. When the tea leaves cool down, they will be put into a drying machine to enhance the flavor and then a rotating sifting machine to be classified into different categories based on their length. Small packets of processed tea leaves will then be stored in a sealed jar with solid lime on the bottom to work against the effect of moisture. Quality tea leaves are thus transformed into quality West Lake Longjing tea, providing sensational pleasure with its mellow and velvety taste.
The beauty of spring culminates in March. In the most beautiful time of the year, we have the honor and pleasure to witness the meaningful encounter of the picturesque tea garden and the most inspiring figures.