2021 RiverStone green tea



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Green Tea




Oxidation: none
Manufacture: pan-fired, hand-rolled and oven-dried
Type: Country Green-style tea for daily tea drinking


Appearance: dark green, rolled leaf style
Flavor: lush, buttery, ‘big rich’ flavor without astringency
Aroma: striking, fresh, clean aroma
Liquor: rich golden-green colored tea liquor




Guizhou 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

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


NOTE: We are finding that this year’s leaf re-steeps successfully 2-3 times depending on the length of time of the steepings.

You should expect that the 2021 RiverStone leaf will be ‘spent’ after a ‘total time in the water’ of 10-12 minutes.


Delicious RiverStone green tea is as good as ever again this year for 2021! We love its fresh, full-bodied flavor! One of our customers’ (and our) favorite teas for year-round green tea thirst-quenching; this is a tea that always satisfies. It is quite nice to have it as a reliable year-round green tea…every year!

RiverStone is an extremely unique but traditional green tea manufacture. We see this type of hand-rolling occasionally, and watch for it, as it usually indicates high quality and expert handling. Hand-rolling green tea leaf into small, pellet-like bundles reduces the surface area and helps to retain the flavor components within the leaf structure. We know that this tea has quite a lot of flavor to give for many months ahead when many of the early spring greens will have started to fade.

RiverStone is hearty and rich, with a deep, satisfying flavor that develops through several steepings. In fact we are big fans of the secondary steepings because they show the well-made character of the tea by the artisan’s skilled hands. This is a tea that is only made once a year in the mid-spring, as the leaf must be of a very particular size and age in order to produce the desired finished tea.

Once mid-April comes around, the production of RiverStone ceases and the tea makers who have been making it are on to manufacturing other types of tea production. The manufactured leaf of our RiverStone needs a brief ‘rest’ to set the shape and allow the flavor to mellow, and then – tada – it arrives here to us and its fans applaud another year’s fine tea!

There are many green teas that were formerly known as the country greens – that is, a green tea that would hold well throughout the year until the next harvest. Much emphasis has been given lately to the spring green teas, which is appropriate as they are wonderful; however many of them do not keep as well as most of us would like. There are times throughout the year when a great cup of green tea would be very much the tea of choice, but often the tea pantry only has in it well-keeping oxidized leaf and a few starting-to be-tired spring greens.

So, for more than a decade now, we have been bringing back some of the traditional, country green teas that are hearty and long-keeping, to help with this gap in choice of beverage. In traditional green tea manufacture, the leaf is rolled more vigorously and the tea’s ‘juices’ are encouraged on to the surface a bit more than in the process used to produce a lighter, more delicate and elusive spring green tea.

We at Tea Trekker are big fans of these traditional country greens – after all, those were the only green teas that we could obtain for the first 20 or so years that we sold green tea back in the mid 70’s to mid 90’s. They are delicious, and while they have always remained popular in Asia; here in the West they have been forgotten except by the real green tea enthusiasts.  Since about 2015 this type of green tea has been quite popular, and we think it is great!