Year of the Dragon 2024 Yiwu Raw Puer



Our essential Yiwu offering each year, this tea is highly fragrant, with a soft character and pleasant sweetness.

Although we use the exact same traditionally processed material each year, this tea provides an excellent opportunity for vertical tasting of the same land. This has been demonstrated with our Monkey through Rabbit cakes, which carry nuanced differences year on year due to the differences in weather.

It was yet another dry year in Yunnan, but the 2024 version of this tea maintains much of what we expected, with lower bitterness/astringency, great fragrance, and a nice honey sweetness. If anything, this year could lean into that sweetness more than others.

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. Based on this experience and feedback from customers, we’re confident in this tea for long-term storage.

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 Chile based artist and illustrator, Pablo Lineros. His work is a vibe we all need in our lives, so be sure to check him out on Instagram @pablotl_

For a comparison of the same tea processed different, try our 2024 White Dragon and Red Dragon.

Region: Yiwu Laojie (in other words: as Yiwu as it gets), Yiwu, Xishuangbanna Prefecture
Picking Period: March 18-25

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 downside is that 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.

Many of our samples for spring 2024 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:

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