This style of Fujianese green tea is becoming increasingly hard to source. The leaves are large and have a distinct coloration and aroma that requires a deft hand in processing. The taste of this tea, while initially soft, grows to lush green tea flavors that awaken the palate. While classed as a green tea, it is made using the Da Bai varietal of Fuding County, in northern Fujian Province. The "snow" portion of its name is drawn from the fine hairs that cover the leaves and appear white. The leaves are pan-fired which stops any enzymatic oxidation from occurring thus categorizing the tea as green. Harvested early in the spring, the very best lots are plucked by mid-March and certainly by early April before the rain (pre-Qing Ming). Worked by hand in a wok, the tea maker creates thin, flat leaves with some markings of white or golden color. This tea is not widely sold outside China but we believe it well represents the diversity of green tea offerings from the southeastern area of the country. Lot is Pre-Qing Ming, harvested April 3, 2018. Lot #8
Why we selected this particular lot. It is single origin and grown on a small farm. Handmade and like a number of specialty teas from China, this one has a comparatively short-lived harvest window. Once the leaves have gained enough size, they are plucked, withered then shaped and fired by working the leaf in wok. The taste of this lot seemed to capture the lush wet flavor we associate with Xue Long. It is a sophisticated tea in that its taste is subtle yet once one comes to know this tea, it is quite fulfilling.
Tasting notes. Snow Dragon cups to a clear, light green-yellow color. This tea seems best described as having a lush and wet feel in the mouth. The taste is clean and sweet reflecting its high mountain origination. This tea has a very distinct vegetative flavor that will linger. The clean almost "puckering" finish is characteristic.
Brewing suggestions. Use 3 grams per 8-12 ounces of water with water at 185-195 degrees F. Steep for 2-3 minutes.