2021 Dragon Whiskers green tea

Dragon Whiskers (Wu Yan Chun Yu)


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Green Tea

Dragon Whiskers (Wu Yan Chun Yu)


Grade: 1st Grade Mao Jian pluck – the bud and one leaf
Oxidation: none
Manufacture: pan-fired, hand rolled


Appearance: open, slender, rolled and slightly-twisted style

Flavor: rich, full-bodied, buttery
Aroma: sweet, fresh, lingering
Liquor: pale amber



Wu Yi County
Zhejiang Province, China

2021 Yu Qian / Before the Rains
2nd Spring Harvesting Season
(April 5th-April 20th)


China Spring Green Tea:


Chinese spring green teas are categorized by four seasonal designations indicating which time in the spring the tea was picked and manufactured. The earlier the tea is plucked the smaller the yield of that tea will be and the more expensive the tea will be. The earliest plucked teas are the most desirable for sweetness and delicacy, and the fever for these teas is high in China as well as in the West. Chinese spring green teas are only plucked once a year in their designated harvesting seasons.


 – Early spring plucked teas:


Pre-Qing Ming tea: 1st Spring Harvesting Season from end of March to before April 5th.


Pre-Qing Ming teas are the first teas plucked each new spring season. Depending on the location and altitude in each tea-producing region, leaf plucking can begin as early as the middle week of March and continue until April 5th.


Pre-Qing Ming teas command the highest prices because the demand for these teas outpaces the supply each spring. This is especially true for Famous Teas such as Gan Lu, Long Ding, Longjing, Lu Shan, Tai Ping Hou Kui, and Zhu Ye Qing.


Yu Qian /Before the Rain tea: 2nd Spring Harvesting Season from April 5th to April 20th


– Late spring plucked teas:


Gu Yu tea: 3rd Spring Harvesting Season from April 21st to May 6th


Li Xia tea: 4th Spring Harvesting Season from May 7th until
May 21st



img-more_seasonal Seasonal Teas Explained

Use 1 Tablespoon (3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each
Water temperature should be 170°F-180°F

This is a lovely, very well-made green tea that is modest in price but long on flavor. It is back this year by popular demand as a Tea Trekker customer favorite.

Good news for fans of this tea…..the 2021 season has produced a lovely batch of this tea, made from medium-sized spring leaf that was ready to be plucked at exactly the ‘normal’ time in the spring as most years. This batch really impressed us. The finished tea is the optimal, perfect length – the traditional size – for Dragon Whiskers. This tea will keep well because of both its depth of flavor and the expert firing of leaf (which has a naturally higher moisture content, as did last year’s leaf).

Each year we purchase a larger quantity of this tea, as we expect word-of-mouth about the goodness and value of this tea to continue to spread. We were first introduced to this tea at the Fang Cun tea market in Guangzhou some years ago and ordered it immediately. Sweet, refreshing, highly aromatic, and readily drinkable, this tea has become the everyday tea for many of our customers. Dragon Whiskers is made from Longjing varietal tea bushes that are grown not for production of Longing (this is not the Longjing production zone) but for making this delicious regional tea.

In China, teas such as this are known as Clouds & Mist teas (chun yu), a reference to a weather phenomenon that occurs in many mountainous tea-growing locations of eastern China. At certain high elevations, thin, wispy clouds develop over the landscape in the morning and drift whichever way the wind blows over the tea gardens. This brings much needed gentle moisture to the tea bushes. These misty clouds disappear in the afternoon, only to return again on some of the subsequent days when the weather patterns provide the correct conditions to repeat the phenomenon.

This mao jian pluck – the bud and one leaf –  is very elegant in appearance, with a long length and slender profile, in a perfect twisted curl! This makes for a not-as-easy-as-it-could-be-to-measure leaf that yields a very tasty cup with good clarity and an engaging sweet spring aroma. It has a rich, full-bodied, buttery flavor in the cup to satisfy Western tea drinkers, yet has enough of the sweetness of early spring tea to make it truly special. Some Asians refer to this mouthfeel as the ‘tea soup’; or call it ‘brothy’. This tactile impression contributes to its immense ‘returning flavor’ which we tend to call ‘aftertaste’.

Easy to steep (once the correct measure for your taste is determined) this tea is reasonably forgiving about water temperature and steep time. This is not to suggest that attention should not be paid to its steeping parameters, but that it is a more ‘tolerant’ tea in the teapot than are some others. Those of you who purchased it last year will need to un-learn and re-learn the quantity to use though, if measuring by eye, as this year the leaf is less bulky in volume. By weight we use the same 3 grams per 6oz of water that we use for most Chinese greens that we intend to re-steep.