Country of Origin: China
Region: Zhejiang Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai or Hong Kong
Grade: Young Hyson
Altitude: 1500 - 4200 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Steamed green tea
Cup Characteristics: Greenish yellow colour. There is good body in the cup and smooth fresh greenish tasting liquor
Infusion: Pale yellow green
Hyson translates to Flourishing Spring and this particular varietal imparts the fresh green character you would expect to be a part of any springtime tea experience. Traditionally hyson referred to old to medium leaves (leaves below the new growing shoots at the top of the bush) manufactured in a rolled long twisted and sometimes almost clam shaped. The term 'young' was added to the nomenclature to distinguish that the tea was made from young leaves (new shoots) and therefore better quality and better tasting. This tea became so highly favored in the 1700's that the British Tea Tax was actually higher for this variety over other teas. Lucky Dragon is from a specific factory that further identified their tea because even though produced in the young hyson style it is much better than typical young hyson.
Right from the first sale of tea in England in the mid 1600's, the English took a shine to tea. The government quickly realized the possibilities and levied taxes on tea that remained until the late 1700's. With all the associated taxes on tea and 'young hyson' being taxed even higher!, there were all sorts of various schemes done to dodge the taxes. Servants in upper class homes would dry the used leaves and resell them. Other unscrupulous people would 'cut' the tea with leaves from various trees such as beech or hawthorn. Smuggling China teas into England reached a feverish peak in the mid 1700's and the ports of France and Belgium were used as the 'jump-off' points for night voyages to Cornwall and Wales. The chancellor of the exchequer and the East India Company were aware of the extent of their losses and realized that only a large tax cut would make legal imports competitive with contraband tea. This finally occurred in 1784 with the passing of the Commutation Act.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180'F or 80'C. Place 6-8 pearls in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]