Zhejiang Tea Facts
Population 54 million
Area 100,000 km2
Tea Production Area 170,410 hm2 (5th Largest in China)
Climate Subtropical Monsoon; average annual temperature 15-18C.
Tea Types Predominantly Green, some Black.
Famous Teas Longjing, Anji White, Golden Bud, Jingshan.
Notable Cultivars Longjing No.43, Anji Bai, Huang Jin Ya.
Tea Ware Dragon Spring Kilns 龙泉.
Located in the East of China, bordering
Shanghai and other well-known tea producing provinces of Fujian & Anhui,
Zhejiang is one of the largest tea producers by output, area given to
production, and also export volume.
One could argue that Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, acts as the fulcrum of contemporary Chinese tea industry and culture, attracting both high levels of investment for tea research via the Tea Science Research Institute, while also retaining its status as the centre of Chinese tea culture is strengthened by the presence of the National Tea Museum, which rests close to the beautiful shores of the famous West Lake (Xi Hu 西湖).
Hangzhou is proud Longjing tea country, as evidenced by the masses of tall glasses that decorate the lakeside tea houses, where visitors and locals congregate throughout the year to soak up the unique atmosphere. Hangzhou is a great place to enjoy tea culture at its most accessible, without dipping too deep into the hinterland, as Zhejiang's most famous tea hills and villages are within striking distance of the city, a rarity in contemporary China.The majority of Zhejiang's tea production is located in the northern areas and around Taimu Mountain.
Climate and Terroir
Zhejiang is a classic Jiangnan Tea Zone - Jiangnan meaning South of the Yangtze river （江南）and within the context of Chinese culture is synonymous with laidback elegance, lush vegetation and highly cultured and refined area.
Average daily temperatures range from 15-18 C, although this conceals the hot summers, and the chilly, but not frozen, winters. The critical season of Spring is known for mild temperatures (between 13-18C), overcast conditions and persistent rains.
The countryside is
blessed with rich, natural resources such as bamboo, walnuts, as well as tea,
which are sold in large volumes to both domestic and international
markets. Areas in close proximity to the
large commercial centres of Hangzhou, Ningbo, (not to mention the global
manufacturing 'mecca' of Yiwu), and Anji, have benefited from this access to international
markets. Lush countryside, rolling
hills, and medium-to-high altitudes provide a well-balanced and nuanced terroir
for green teas.
The majority of Zhejiang's tea production is dedicated to green teas such as Long Jing (Dragon Well), and Anji White tea (a green tea, but called white due to pigmentation of leaf) is another famous tea from this area.
Zhejiang possesses a more temperate climate than its southern neighbour Fujian, a fact reflected in its focus on green tea production; with cooler winters and a noticeably less volatile summer, tea production is at its peak before and after Qingming festival. Although in recent years there has been a trend to expand the tea season as many tea farmers have begun to experiment producing different tea types. Where previously tea bushes were pruned back after the end of the Spring growing season, tea farmers are now picking later in the season and producing black teas.
The Longquan (literally Dragon Spring) kilns in the south of the province, close to the border with Fujian, represent another facet of Zhejiang's rich tea culture.Longquan kilns have been firing highly-prized ceramics since the early part of the Northern Song period (960-1127AD). However, it was during the Southern Song period (1127-1279AD) when the Song, retreating from the northern incursion by the Jin relocated their kingdom 1,000 km south from Kaifeng to Hangzhou, crossing the Yangtze River- that the kilns begin to produce fine ceramics. The extra resources invested into the area by the new administration significantly enhancing the output and quality of Longquan tea wares. It is said that when you have the opportunity to look upon these ceramics and touch them, the sensation is like that of jade.
 Jiangnan has referred to different geographical areas throughout Chinese history, but in the main has also included Southern Anhui and Jiangsu, North-eastern Jiangxi, as well as Zhejiang. Within the context of China, Jiangnan is deemed an evocative and iconic cultural and geographical zone.