Dragon claw, December 2023, Vietnam wild tea tree buds

€26,50 / 50g

Dragon Claw Tea stands out as a variety of white tea, harvested from ancient, wild trees that are centuries old, nestled high in the mountains at elevations ranging from 1500 to 2200 meters. These venerable trees are found primarily in Vietnam's northern mountainous regions, such as Chieu Lau Thi and Tay Con Linh in Ha Giang, extending into the mountainous territories of Yunnan, China, nearby.

This distinctive tea is a variant of Ya Bao, harvested from the axillary buds of non-sinensis tea tree varieties. These buds, which sprout in winter, are predestined to evolve into branches. Scientifically recognized as Camellia Crassicolumna, there is ongoing debate about its classification as either tea or herb, owing to its unique taste and visual appeal that make it highly coveted among tea aficionados.

Vietnam's rich natural environment is the cradle of this botanical marvel. The buds of Dragon Claw tea, marked by their greenish hue with purple tips, mimic the appearance of a dragon's tail, glittering as if touched by sunlight. Upon brewing, it offers a pale golden liquor with a wild, sweet scent akin to roses.

Upon infusion, the tea exudes a robust fruity floral aroma. The dense buds unfold slowly, revealing their full flavor when steeped for 30 seconds to a minute with increasing steeping time in water of 90-100 degrees Celsius. For a quicker, stronger infusion, a light simmer in a pot is recommended, mirroring local practices. Even after a gong fu style brewing session, boiling the buds can extract their full essence.

The infusion resembles clear water with a hint of green-yellow, embodying an intense fragrance and a complex taste profile of floral, fruity, woody, and peppery notes, reminiscent of guava candy.

Dragon Claw Tea is indeed a remarkable choice for those seeking an unparalleled and enjoyable taste journey.