Hyson tea (熙春茶), also known as Lucky Dragon Tea, is a type of Chinese green tea that originates from the Anhui province of China. This tea is made from young tea leaves that are thinly rolled to have a long, twisted appearance that unfurls when brewed. The tea is graded into three categories: Mi Si, Cheng Si, and Fu Si. While hyson tea is often considered of low or mediocre quality, young hyson is regarded as high quality, with a full-bodied, pungent taste and golden color.
Types of Young Hyson
Young hyson is subdivided into Chun Mee, Foong Mee, Saw Mee, and Siftings. It is harvested earlier than other hyson teas, giving it a distinct flavor. Young hyson tea is sometimes classified as First, Second, and Third Young Hyson. In Chinese, young hyson is known as Yu Chin Ch’a and is categorized as Mi Yu, O Yu, I Yu, Ya Yu, and Si Yu.
To make hyson tea, use one teaspoon per 6 oz cup, add water below boiling point, and steep for 2-3 minutes. Hyson tea has a light, warm, smooth, and earthy flavor, often described as sunny and spring-like. It can be served hot or iced and is typically enjoyed without milk or sugar. Cold hyson tea is often garnished with lime or lemon.
Historical and Literary References
Despite being considered of mediocre quality, hyson tea was highly valued by the 18th century British, and the tea tax on hyson was higher than that of other teas. During the Boston Tea Party, hyson tea was among the teas destroyed. Hyson tea is referenced in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “Xenophanes,” and the English essayist Charles Lamb mentions hyson tea in his essay, “Old China.” Lamb describes enjoying a cup of hyson with his cousin while admiring an old blue china set.
Hyson tea is a type of Chinese green tea that is made from young tea leaves that are thinly rolled to have a long, twisted appearance that unfurls when brewed. It is often considered of low or mediocre quality, but young hyson is regarded as high quality with a full-bodied, pungent taste and golden color. Hyson tea can be served hot or iced and is typically enjoyed without milk or sugar. Despite its low reputation, hyson tea was highly valued in the 18th century British and has been referenced in literature, making it a noteworthy aspect of tea culture.