2021 Gan Lu (Sweet Dew) grren tea

Gan Lu (Sweet Dew)


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Green Tea


Mengding Shan Gan Lu (Sweet Dew)



Oxidation: none

Manufacture: hot-air pan-fired


Appearance: tiny, mottled-green, twisted leaves covered with a silvery, fuzzy down

Flavor: sweet, full-bodied, and refreshing

Aroma: highly aromatic: fresh bamboo shoot/wet grass

Liquor: pale, silver/ lime green


Mengding Mountain,
Sichuan Province, China

2021 Pre-Qing Ming
1st Spring Harvesting Season
(mid-March until April 5th)


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.


– The EARLY SPRING PLUCKED TEAS (2 subcategories):


Pre-Qing Ming :
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 :
2nd Spring Harvesting Season from April 5th until April 20th


– The LATE SPRING PLUCKED TEAS (2 subcategories):


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


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


img-more_seasonal Seasonal Teas Explained

Use 1 Tablespoon (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each
Water temperature should be 160°F-170°F


Steeping Tip:

Gan Lu is potentially a sensitive leaf depending on the weather conditions at harvest. You may find that you need to use hotter or cooler water than what you normally use for an early Spring Green Tea. Being considerably inland, Gan Lu is often among the earliest of the green teas harvested, some years rivaling Yunnan for the earliest production.

When the season is early, as it was in 2020 this leaf may be quite delicate, so watch your steeping time and water temperature!

In the high elevation tea gardens on Mengding Mountain in Sichuan Province, the sweet and tender early spring tea buds are covered with soft, fluffy down. The most coveted batches of Gan Lu are from the Pre-Qing Ming, 1st Spring Harvesting Season, which begins on Mengding Mountain in the middle of March and ends on April 5th (Qing Ming).

These tiny buds yield a refreshing tea that possesses a soft, full-bodied taste punctuated with a beguiling, delicate sweetness reminiscent of fresh bamboo shoot or sugar cane, with an ever-so-slightly-astringent aftertaste. Its lovely aroma brings to mind both bamboo and wet grass (the aroma also sometimes known as ‘rain‘.) Despite the small size of the leaves, this tea delivers a satisfying cup. This very appealing quality has earned this tea the name, Gan Lu, or Sweet Dew. The steeped liquor is extremely pale, so do not steep by intensity of color, because this leaf has none!

Mengding Mountain Gan Lu is cultivated in the vicinity of the original tea gardens at Gan Lu Si Temple, where Wu LiZhen is reported to have planted the first cultivated tea bushes in China around 53 BC. This tea was enjoyed by Song dynasty Emperor Xiaozong ( r. 1162-1189), who gave Wu Li Zhen the title Master of Sweet Dew.

While many of China’s teas have been in production for centuries, Gan Lu is considered to be one of the oldest green teas in continuous production. It is an important early spring tea since it became an Imperial favorite during the Tang Dynasty (960-1279). The harvest of Gan Lu is small and most of the production is consumed domestically or, broadly, within East Asia. We are thrilled that again in 2021 we have obtained this excellent Pre-Qing Ming tea for our customers. Many of you have become loyal fans of this tea over the years.

This season we will again have the 250 gram, paper-wrapped option. And we will have several other spring teas in this traditional packaging for 2021.

This is a very special tea for lovers of sweet, distinctive, regional and seasonal China green teas. Do not wait too long to order this tea, as it sells out every year, even though we receive several shipments of it each year!

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img-more_famous China’s Famous Tea