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Snow Dragon White Tea
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Snow Dragon White Tea
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During one of our visits to Fujian, over a meal of grilled snake and deep fried beetles our Master Taster was told the legend of Snow Dragon White tea. The topic came up when he asked about the interesting spiral leaf shape of the tea they were drinking to accompany the likewise interesting meal. Needless to say, the tale he was told was incredible as well.According to the legend an ancient tea grower, one of the Dai people, (an ancient ethnic Fujian minority), had an excellent year. His tea trees, some of which dated back to the 8th century had performed marvelously well due to an abundance of rain that year. Now, as everyone in China knows, Dragons are responsible for controlling water and weather. (For this reason many of China’s rivers are named after dragons, ie. Fujian’s Nine-Dragon River.) Returning home from market, the ancient grower was accosted by a rain dragon standing in the road. The rain dragon demanded a share of the man’s profit arguing that without his influence over the season, the man would not have had such a bumper crop. Foolishly, in an effort to hold onto his profits, the grower told the dragon that it was because of his pruning technique that he had such a great year rather than the rain. The dragon flew off incensed to discuss the matter with his cousin, a winter dragon in charge of snowfall. The dragons determined that until the grower repented and showed them some respect, that come winter they would cause snow to fall without end.Winter came and sure enough the snow fell. And fell. After 4 months, with the snow piled to the rooftops, the snow dragon visited the tea grower on behalf of his hibernating cousin and demanded some form of offering. Again the grower explained that the rains had nothing to do with his crop. The snow dragon left and the snow continued to fall. Finally, after 10 months of continuous snowfall the grower gave in, partially. But rather than simply pay the dragon, he devised a plan that could serve them both. He offered to develop a special new tea, designed in the shape of the dragon’s tail. In this way, the crafty grower could offer respect, and sell the tea for his own profit. The dragon, respecting the man’s fortitude and refusal to back down agreed and Snow Dragon white tea and an amazing story was born!To this day Snow Dragon White tea is produced according to the ancient method devised many years ago. Only the buds of Fujian’s top bushes are plucked and gently processed by wrapping each around a reed before drying. In the cup, the tea exhibits notes of spring water, light grassiness and touches of sweet peach. An incredible tea that, as our Master Taster can tell you, pairs incredibly well with grilled snake and beetle!
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