The historical culture accumulated in Hangzhou is deep, ancient, and still highly active. Ceramic culture, printing, silk culture, tea culture, local cuisine, traditional Chinese medicine, religious culture, calligraphy, carving, and other rich fruits of traditional Chinese civilization, can be reflected on and appreciated in Hangzhou.
China is the home of tea, and the birthplace of tea culture. Hangzhou has been regarded as “the capital of tea in China” since the Tang Dynasty. Thus, for Hangzhou, tea culture is an essential part of the city’s economy and overall cultural identity.
Green tea is at the center of Hangzhou's tea culture, and “West Lake Longjing Tea,” which originates from the mountains surrounding West Lake, is known as one of China's best teas. With its signature green color, strong fragrance, sweet smell, and beautiful shape, these “four characters” have almost made it a by-word for Chinese tea. Qianlong, an emperor of the Qing Dynasty, greatly cherished tea, and once during a southern tour to Hangzhou, he came upon West Lake Longjing Tea by chance and named the 18 tea trees in Longjing village as an “Imperial tea,” which later became a tribute tea, for the Emperor only. Even today, Longjing tea is regarded as the Chinese National Gift, which can be found around the World. Now, the way of making Longjing Tea has become a Non-material Cultural Heritage, and along with West Lake's Hupao Spring, they are acknowledged as the “two wonders of West Lake.”
Another kind of tea produced in Hangzhou named “Jingshan tea” also has a history of more than one thousand year. The Jingshan Temple is the origin place of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.