Did you know that the flavor of a tea can change depending on the season of its harvest?
Spring harvest tea usually refers to tea whose leaves originate from the first sprout after winter. In the spring, tea trees absorb more minerals from the earth, making their leaves bigger and thicker. The tea leaves contain stronger aromas and more vitamins than trees in other seasons. Additionally, the tea tree has gone through a recuperating period in winter, giving the resulting harvest a fresh, untouched feeling. These sprouts are rich in flavor, vibrant in color, and contain lots of nutrients, especially amino acids. All of these elements are beneficial for people’s health. To look more in depth at the tea harvested during this period, let’s ask two clarifying questions.
- What is spring harvest Pu-erh tea?
Spring harvest Pu-erh tea is the tea that is made between the first day of spring (Lichun) and the first day of summer (Lixia).The quality of spring harvest Pu-erh depends on its date of harvest within the Chinese Lunar calendar. Spring harvest tea includes the first spring harvest tea (Ming Qian tea), mid spring tea, and grain rain tea. Ming Qian tea refers to tea leaves harvested before the Chinese Qing Ming Festival, which falls around the fourth month of the Lunar calendar. It is regarded as highly valuable, because the tip is tender, and it has lots of white pekoes. First spring harvest tea is regarded as the best tea of the year. It can also be divided into two categories: First sprout tea and second sprout tea. The grain rain tea refers to the tea that is picked during the Guyu, the last solar term in Spring in China’s lunar calendar, which is generally of lower quality than previous harvests.
- What are the primary characteristics of spring harvest tea?
Tea trees mainly grow their roots in winter, and Amino Acids are developed at these roots and then transported to the top leaves. After the winter hibernation, lots of nutrition has been stored up. In the winter and early spring, the tea trees grow slowly, which contributes to the development of their special aromas. Therefore, the robust leaves of spring tea have a saturated color, giving off a strong aroma and a thick flavor, with a good returning sweetness.
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