Year of the Tiger 2022 Yiwu Raw Puer



Possibly one of the best daily drinkers out there, this tea embodies everything that Yiwu teas are known for: a pleasant and unique fragrance that is accompanied by an underlying sweetness.

While this tea maintains a similar character year after year, it also serves as a great measure of how weather affects each year’s tea. Due to significant lack of rain, our 2020 Rat and 2021 Bull were steered towards a denser flavour with more noticeable bitterness. For 2022, this tea has returned to a more balanced and gentler profile that emphasizes a honey-like sweetness – perhaps the closest yet to our first production of Monkey in 2016.

Our experience storing this tea over the last 10+ years has been the development of even more noticeable honey and fruit notes within 3-5 years.

As we highlight each year, a big draw with this tea is the quality of material used. The trees were planted by this farmer’s family over 45 years ago, at which point plantation style terraces were more common. However, since the 2000s, these trees have been converted to fangyang (放养, or “left to grow”). This means no pesticides, weed killer, pruning, fertilizers or over-picking.

While this style of farming isn’t ideal for producing maximum output, it does contribute to much higher quality tea than neighboring taidi productions, which adhere to conventional farming methods. The other downsides are the trees left to grow taller on their own tend to compete for space and may require relocation, which isn’t always successful. Additionally, manual weeding is a laborious task that takes at least a month each year to complete. Picking tall trees, even if they’re only middle-aged, is also a more difficult task than pruned bushes.

But if we had our way, every tea would be like this. The deeper roots and more concentrated yield produce a tea richer in fragrance and flavour than typical plantation productions in this price range. And of course, all this without the presence of any pesticides or harmful substances.

In previous years (2017-2018) we tested this tea against the EU Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) of 191 and 440+ pesticides, both passing with ease. Although this particular year’s tea has not been tested, the tea is from the same land and our confidence in this tea and relationship with the farmer remains strong. If you would like a copy of the lab results for previous years, please contact us.

This year’s wrapper features artwork by Toronto based artist 1%Talent. Be sure to check him out on Instagram, TikTok and pick something out for yourself from his shop here.

Picking period: 1st and 2nd flush, pre-March 27


Many of our samples for spring 2021 are in dragon ball form. While these balls will perform the same as the cake, they can be slightly trickier to brew. Here’s how we do it:

Additional information

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9 reviews for Year of the Tiger 2022 Yiwu Raw Puer

  1. 5 out of 5

    BCM (verified owner)

    For the price, this has got to be one of my favourite teas. $0.11 per gram (or even c.$0.17 per gram for the dragon balls) is insane for how nice this is.

    The dry leaf (I bought the dragon balls of this) has a strong aroma of apricots and bit of lanolin. The wet leaf is more vegetal and sort of reminds me of some green teas like Anji Bai Cha. The liquor itself is extremely smooth but thick (almost reminiscent of some Taiwanese oolongs) and without any bitterness or astringency to note. The dominant flavour is of apricots and tropical fruit, but with some floral notes in the background. It is very sweet and almost honeyed. But there is also a bit of pepperiness that keeps it interesting. It leaves a very fresh, almost mentholated feeling in the mouth, and the aroma from retronasal olfaction literally reminds me of fresh mountain air.

    I’m a big fan of Taiwanese oolongs, and when it comes to sheng I prefer my tea to be young and fresh and to not have that much bitterness or astringency. So this ticks all the boxes for me and is really amazing for the price.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martin Ödman

    A good sheng for the price, but too soft and mild for my personal preference.

  3. 5 out of 5


    An amazingly sweet sheng. From the beginning, fresh fruit sweetness, florals, and tinges of citrus combine into glazed lemon cake and pear syrup, backed by a dense, soft body. But what really blew me away arrived at steep four: a sudden cream and sugar note that gave me glazed sweet bread, whipped cream, pineapples in syrup with cream cheese. It’s hard to place exactly, but it’s delicious, and persisted for the rest of the session. One of my absolute favorites from this season’s lineup.

  4. 4 out of 5

    @cozinhacomcha (verified owner)

    Um sheng puer extremamente fresco, traz em suas folhas secas notas aromáticas vegetais e uma certa mineralidade de rochas molhadas, que se intensificam nas folhas aquecidas, ganhando uma nota presente de tabaco.
    O licor amarelo claro, límpido e brilhoso traz notas suaves vegetais e minerais de maneira bem sutil, com um leve amargor e pungência/ picancia em língua.
    Se comparado ao chá do ano anterior (Year of Bull) é mais sutil, com menos amargor e adstringência, ao mesmo tempo que aparenta ser menos complexo. Ainda sim é um ótimo chá, trazendo notas e sensações em boca interessante. Fico curioso para ver o que o envelhecimento fará com este chá.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Verville-Paris (verified owner)

    Love at first sip. This cake won’t last long.

    //Smell : Fresh, perfumed, spring, herbaceous, cooked vegetables, floral, wet hay
    //Texture: Silky, thick, surprising weight in the cheeks, menthol, even coats the throat
    //Taste : Pineapple spicyness, cooked vegetables, honey, cream, herbaceous, mineral, floral, fruit sugar
    //Body sensation: Smiling cheeks, joy, present moment, gratitude

  6. 4 out of 5


    As expected from Yiwu tea, overall character of this tea is light and sugary. The sweetness echoed in my throat resembles cane and palm sugar, sort of the fresh unrefined side. Texture is light but expanding with the force of alpine air. The only downside for me is slight metallic sensation but it is acceptable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rosy (verified owner)

    Proof that a good tea doesn’t have to be expensive. The floral, vegetable, and slightly raisiny aromas greet you before you even get a chance to fully unwrap the paper. The soup itself has a similar fragrance to the dry leaves but the actual taste is really like a light, savory vegetable broth with a slight funk (in a good way, of course). This tea is also in it for the long haul as I often find myself drinking the same leaves a second day. As far as body feel goes, it is quite rushy but pleasant.

  8. 4 out of 5

    rudi (verified owner)

    Brief steeps (5-10 seconds) in 90 Celsius water.
    Liquor is a clear light yellow in color.
    Taste is mild with a fruity note and a sweet aftertaste.
    Mouthfeel has a slight stickiness with no astringency nor bitterness.
    The liquor goes smooth down the throat.
    Wet leaves are olive green, giving off a scent of steamed stone fruits with a touch of funk and menthol.
    The flavor intensity starts to mellow down by the 5th/6th infusion, thus best to do a longer steep from here onwards.
    A (1 minute) steep gives a mild astringency on the palate and a hint of floral note in the aftertaste.
    This tea leaves me feeling mellow and sleepy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    @cozinhacomcha (verified owner)

    Ótimo Puer, jovem e fresco, porem encorpado e delicioso. No método gong fu fica excelente para de tomar com mais intensidade.

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