Wild Needles of Hunan


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Green Tea




Wild Needles of Hunan



Grade: an early spring ‘needle’ pluck

Oxidation: none

Manufacture: hot air & pan-fired, and hand-rolled



Appearance: straight & wiry, in a beautiful matte grey/green

Flavor: vegetal, and herbaceous;; very full-bodied

Aroma: fairly light but complex, China green tea aroma

Liquor: clear light jade green


Hunan Province, China

2019 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 Tablespoon (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each
Water temperature should be 170˚F-180˚F


Notes on steeping:

We find that this tea can be responsive to both water temperature and steeping time.
If you prefer a softer style, use water at the cooler end of the range and perhaps give the leaf a quick rinse prior to steeping; and steep short – perhaps only 2 mins in the Chinese style. If on the other hand, you prefer a strident cup and a blast of vegetal green tea flavor, do not rinse the leaf and use water at the upper end of the range; and steep for a full 3 minutes or even longer. This tea is quite flexible and controllable.

Nov 2019

Wild Needles of Hunan is our other new show-stopper green tea from Hunan Province for winter 2019/2020 green tea drinking. Like the Guzhang Maojian, it too is among the most delicious green teas that we have ever sourced and we are excited to have it. Hunan Province produces very flavorful tea, as one would expect from a province that has such a delicious and forthright cuisine.

Wild Needles of Hunan is manufactured into the classic ‘needle’ shape (an elongated sparrow’s tongue, if you will) and is extremely reliable and well-keeping. Because of its shape, with a reduced surface area 0n which oxidation can occur, this special tea will show its exquisite flavor well past the time that the next year’s harvest is in. This is such a great attribute for a green tea, as so often they do not hold well for more than 9-10 months post harvest.

The flavor of Wild Needles of Hunan all stems from one word: vegetal. It is appropriately vegetal in the cup to qualify as an elegant hearty Hunan green tea, and its astringency, which is normally a major attribute of a vegetal tea, is in this instance controlled by the steep time and temperature of the steeping water. Wild Needles of Hunan can be steeped short, in which case the astringency is barely noticeable, or steeped long, in which case it can be about as assertive as one could want!  The base flavor is focused, with some celery and tomato stem characteristics. It will show a rich body and mouth feel. The aroma is clean and pure – the essence of ‘tea’.

This leaf has a ‘dusty’ grey/green coloration – the classic color of many western China green teas. This color is determined by the varietal of tea plant that it is harvested from, in combination with the strong sunlight that is present early in the season in this part of China. The leaf will develop a beautiful artichoke green when re-hydrated during steeping.

Please note our steeping ideas in the accordions.

Tea enthusiasts who like our Lu Shan Yun Wu, En Shi Yu Lu, and Rizhao Xueqing green teas should like this tea, as well as anyone who is looking for a tasty, rich, green tea.

Wild Needles of Hunan is from the northwestern part of Hunan Province, a stunning mountainous region that has many tea gardens and beautiful landscapes. Hunan Province has been known for exquisite green tea 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 teas manufactured there have been reserved strictly for the domestic market.

We love this tea!