- New Harvest Tea Should Arrive in early-May 2020 - 2020 Zhu Ye Qing green tea

Zhu Ye Qing


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Green Tea


Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Tips)


Oxidation: none
: bud-only pluck showing the classic ‘bird’s-beak’ aka ‘sparrow tongue’ profile


Appearance: a bud-plucked tea, with a smooth ‘sparrow tongue’ shape and tiny side leaves
Flavor: sweet / mildly astringent flavor reminiscent of delicate spring bamboo shoots and asparagus
Aroma: vegetal, fresh-green aroma
Liquor: clear golden liquor, tinged with a slight green hue

Emei Shan
Sichuan Province, China

Grown on one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, hallowed ground for a tea garden

2020 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 2 teaspoons (2-3 grams) per 6 oz water
Steep 2-3 infusions at 2 minutes each.
Water temperature should be 160˚F-170˚F

Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Tips) is a very special tea and we are thrilled to have it back again. At Tea Trekker we are very fond of tea from Sichuan Province, and this is one of our favorite Pre-Qing Ming green teas. It is also one of the earliest teas plucked in China at the beginning of each new tea year.

Zhu Ye Qing is a gorgeous tea. Look carefully at this smooth, slim, tiny, slightly curved bud with tiny side leaves – it is a marvel of tea plucking expertise and careful manufacture. This type of carefully-rendered, hand-crafted tea is becoming rare in go-go China today.

This is an excellent year for this tea, taste-wise, due to the slightly earlier start to the season (compared to the last several years) so if you are not familiar with this amazing tea, this could be a great year to ‘discover’ Zhu Ye Qing (or re-discover it if you haven’t tasted it for a while). Last year we had two different lots of this tea during the season, so it should be interesting to discover which of them this year’s version is more similar to. In terms of taste, they are always similar, but the visual profile can vary considerably.

In the cup, the liquor has a sweet / mildly astringent flavor reminiscent of delicate spring bamboo shoots and asparagus. These qualities, coupled with the vibrant vegetal aroma and freshness of its early plucking time, gives the tea backbone and structure, like a fine Riesling wine. The taste of the tea flirts with the palate and is a sheer delight.

This year (2019) this tea can be steeped light (both in quantity of leaf used and/or time in-the-water) in which case the liquid tea will have a subtle but wonderfully pure flavor. If you prefer more of the vegetal flavor for which this tea is known, then use the traditional amount and steep for the classic two minutes to achieve an incredible cup of Zhu Ye Qing.

Zhu Ye Qing is a modern-era tea but it is already a classic. Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Tips) is the most famous tea made on Emei Shan, which is one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains. Here, tea grows in the cool, thin air of high elevation and is surrounded by vast expanses of bamboo forest. In these forests, nourishing moisture (known as clouds & mist) develops and rises up from the valley in the early morning and evening hours.

When we visited this remote tea growing area on one of our tea-buying trips we rode a cable car from the top of the mountain down through a pristine bamboo forest. The silence of the forest was serene, punctuated only by bird songs, insect calls, and the gentle sound of the movement of giant bamboo. The scenery here is stunning and the forest is a study in the graceful movement of many species of giant bamboo growing in the wild.

At our destination we were treated to a lunch in which every dish contained bamboo, either as a main ingredient or important flavor component. We were served Zhu Ye Qing (Bamboo Tips) as an after-meal tea, and it was the perfect finish to such a grand meal. With its sweet, rich flavor that is so reminiscent of freshly-harvested bamboo shoot, and being from the same location, the terroir aspect of this combination really worked.

This mid-day adventure is one of our fondest memories of China.