- New Harvest Tea Should Arrive end-of-July - 2021 Snow Dragon Huang Ya yellow tea

Snow Dragon Huang Ya (Yellow Buds)


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Yellow Tea




Snow Dragon Huang Ya (Yellow Buds)



Grade: an early spring budset pluck (one bud)

Oxidation: none-to-very slight

Manufacturing Style: pan-fired and ‘smothered’ during men huang (the ‘sealing yellow’ step)



Appearance: fairly-large-sized, plump, sword-shaped bud pluck (‘lark’s-tongue’ style)

Flavor: brisk , mineral-stone flavor, early-spring freshness

Aroma: fresh, high-elevation clean, subtle, ripe-melon & slight cacao/nut aroma

Liquor: modest, pale golden-jade colored tea liquor


Guzhang County
Hunan Province, China

2021 Pre-Qing Ming
1st Spring Harvesting Season
(end of March – 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.


 – 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 Tea Explained

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


Please Note:


Budset Yellow Teas are very rare now and their steeping possibilities range from a very light beverage right through to a full-bodied and almost oolong-like steeping.


These Snow Dragon Huang Ya budsets can be steeped once for anywhere from two to six minutes; or they can be steeped multiple times with each re-steeping lasting from two to five minutes each. There is quite a bit of flexibility steeping budset teas.


Experiment with what you like; however, it is strongly recommended that slightly cooler water is used, as we recommend in the main Steeping Instructions above.



Here at Tea Trekker we try to drink Snow Dragon Huang Ya (Yellow Buds) when we want several cups of tea, because we think it is important to re-steep budset teas. We follow our main instructions (above) most of the time, and occasionally increase the time of steeping. We always use plenty of buds, up towards the 2 Tbs measure.


This yellow tea has not been available to us since 2013. It is from tea gardens in a stunningly beautiful valley of Hunan Province that we visited in 2006.

Snow Dragon Huang Ya (Yellow Buds) is from the heart of China’s interior, where agriculture is king. It is the perfect tea to join our repertoire again now, in such a perfect tea-growing year!

The terroir is perfect on the mountainsides from which this tea is plucked. It is near a UNESCO World Heritage site that helps to protect the region from development and pollution. Hunan Province is famous for high quality food production and is arguably the ‘heart & lungs’ of modern China’s agriculture.

Stylistically, Snow Dragon Huang Ya drinks very clean and smooth. It has the characteristically soft finish and lush undertones that one expects in a finely-crafted yellow tea. Its aroma is pleasant but mild, and the color of the liquor will entice one to look deeply into it to see the soft pale colors that are readily evident, but do not scream out of the cup at you.

The buds are wonderfully-formed, flattened enough in the firing to dry properly, but still plump with their distinctive flavor, and showing excellent proportion from one emerging leaflet to another. These buds are truly an artisan-made manufacture. Unlike many of the Spring Green and Yellow teas, these Snow Dragon Huang Ya will store well and drink nicely well into 2021, possibly past the start of next year’s harvest time.

One of the unique features of this bud pluck is that it is only because the gardens are in Hunan Province, which is somewhat south in central/western China, that the buds are able to plump up this much so early in the harvesting season. In most tea-growing areas this mature a pluck would probably only be able to be made a month later and by then the plants would in most cases have lost their sweetness, but not with these tea plants, that have adapted to the terroir of Hunan and are now in harmony with the weather.

We are quite pleased to be offering this tea again this season, especially after such a long hiatus, and are drinking quite a bit of it ourselves now during this transition season from warm weather to cool. Snow Dragon Huang Ya is perfect whenever a refreshing, light beverage is appropriate and is proof of the incredible care in manufacture that these buds receive. This is about as perfect a tea as there is for stunning Indian Summer days in the north, or those cool, crisp autumn days in the south. Because the buds can be steeped numerous times, it is a good tea to use for making Arnold Palmers™ for a crowd or a refreshing punch for an outdoor wedding?

Hunan Province has been known for exquisite green, yellow, and black teas for about as long as tea has been cultivated in China. Hunan Province was one of the first places that tea bushes were taken for transplanting following their successful cultivation in Sichuan Province, its neighbor to the north. Hunan Province is, in many ways, the perfect location for the manufacture of premium tea. For much of history, however, the green and yellow teas manufactured there have been reserved strictly for the domestic market.

Today, Hunan Province’s green and yellow teas, along with its black tea, coffee crop, and world-famous vegetable harvests (including its many varieties of chilies!) showcase the province as being, in many ways, the organic center of agricultural Mainland China.