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, flat style

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



Wu Yi County
Zhejiang Province, China

2019 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 2019 season has produced a very tasty batch of this tea, made from more concentrated, medium-large-sized, spring leaf that was ready to be plucked almost three weeks earlier than last year. This batch really impressed us. The finished tea is a significantly longer length than the traditional size for Dragon Whiskers in the dried form, although once re-hydrated the length is more similar. This tea will keep well because of both its depth of flavor and the expert firing of leaf (that has a similar, 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 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, 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 the next day.

This mao jian pluck – the bud and one leaf –  is very elegant in appearance, with a long length and slender profile, which makes for a not-so-easy-to-measure leaf that yields a very tasty cup with good clarity and 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, this tea is reasonably forgiving about water temperature and steep time. This is not to suggest that attention should not be paid to 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 my eye, as this year the leaf is much more bulky in volume. By weight we use the same 3 grams per 6oz of water.