Chengtan is the source of our longjing (i.e. "dragonwell") green tea. Situated in rural Xinchang county 140 kilometers southeast of West Lake (the traditional cradle of longjing), the gardens here are prisitine, unspoiled by the polluted industrial centers of Hangzhou. Longjing from Xinchang is known as da fo (“big buddha”), to distinguish it from West Lake longjing, which commands an inflated market value in China for cultural reasons. But for decades now, Xinchang longjing has had objective advantages: cleaner growth environments, fairer price-points, and innovative producers working to produce exemplary longjing without the built-in demand West Lake longjing enjoys. Chengtan is one of those producers.
Making exceptional longjing from the traditional cultivar sets (namely wu niu zao, qunti, and longjing #43), Chengtan is a mid-size operation that collects raw material from neighboring gardens to be processed and blended at their factory. The essential hand-done processes are alive here, but modern machinery and the careful attention of many, many hands guarantee consistently great longjing from Chengtan each season.