While much of the tea world classifies its teas according to leaf grade - OP, FBOP, TGFOP, etc. - in China, it has never been that simple. Due to the many thousands of different production methods used by Chinese growers, Chinese teas have a long history of interesting and very creative names. The naming of Pearl Drop Morning Dew, a variety of Pi Lo Chun is a good example of this.Long before the development of Sichuan province’s Pearl Drop Morning Dew, Pi Lo Chun teas were grown only on Dong Ting Mountain in Tai Hu, a division of Jiangsu Province. But even before Pi Lo Chun teas were given the name Pi Lo Chun, the grade was known as Xia Sha Ren Xiang, which translated means “Scary Fragrance.” Not very appealing is it? According to legend, this name came from the fact that pluckers, in an effort to protect the very delicate leaves needed to produce the tea, would carry their small plucking baskets inside their cloaks. After a day on the mountain, the tea, having been next to their bodies all day, would develop a very pungent and, judging by the name, alarming aroma. Although it was not very marketable, the name Scary Fragrance stuck for many years.The name was not changed to the more pleasant sounding Pi Lo Chun, meaning, “Green Snail Spring” until one fateful day during the reign of the Qing dynasty Emperor Kangxi, (1654-1722). Kangxi, on a visit through Tai Hu was presented with the Scary Fragrance tea, which had become the regional specialty. He found it delicious. But when told of the name, he scoffed and decided he would bestow it with a new name. Because the tea was green, hand rolled (making it look like little snails) and produced only in spring, he decided very reasonably on Pi Lo Chun, Green Snail Spring.Over the years, as the unique method for producing Pi Lo Chun spread to other tea regions of China, growers began giving their own versions different names to set them apart from the Tai Hu original. Our producer in Sichuan comes from a line of tea growers who devised the name Pearl Drop Morning Dew. In the minds of his descendents, the rolled leaf resembled the pearl shaped dewdrops left on the tealeaves in the early spring mornings of plucking season. (A very romantic image and certainly much more marketable than Scary Fragrance.)Name aside, like the great Pi Lo Chuns of history, Pearl Drop Morning Dew is a spectacular tea. Produced exclusively from premium spring leaf, the cup is intensely delicate, exhibiting notes of honey, spring flowers, light grassiness and clover. Without exaggeration, one of the World’s finest green teas.