First Harvest Chinese Tea, the Most Expensive Chinese Tea

Like most plants and crops worldwide, tea has seasons that vary depending on the variety, climate, and region. Above all, the picking season highly determines the flavor profile of a tea. It’s not different in China, whereby there are several harvesting periods of fresh tea leaves in a year. Teas can be harvested from once up to 7 times a year.
Interestingly, tea buds and leaves harvested early and with care tend to be highly priced and praised because of their unique flavor profiles. Additionally, it’s highly valued by true tea lovers. Keep reading down here as we explore more on first-harvest Chinese tea.

3 Types of Chinese Teas by Harvesting Season

Unlike Taiwan, which has four tea seasons, China has three seasons. They include:

1. Chinese spring teas

Chinese spring tea is usually the first season of tea harvest during the spring period, especially in Eastern and Southwest China. This season starts from the end of March to mid-May.
Often this tea tends to be in smaller quantities than tea plucked in other seasons throughout the year. As a result, it’s rare and more expensive. Additionally, Chinese spring teas are highly appreciated by tea enthusiasts due to the freshness, sweetness, and unique flavors they offer. And this is also a contributing factor to the high pricing in the tea markets. This tea account for a small yet vital percentage of China’s annual tea harvest.
Often Chinese spring teas are sold by seasonal designation (Ming Qian designation), indicating the time of harvest and manufacturing.
There are two categories of Chinese spring teas:

a) Early spring plucked teas: These are teas plucked during the first harvesting phase that starts from the end of March to around April 20th each year. They are also called Pre-Qing Ming teas.

b) Late spring plucked teas: These teas are plucked on the second harvesting phase that starts from April 21st up to May 21st each year. 

The above season occurs before the rains or Qingming festival, which takes place around April 5th, according to the solar calendar.
Note: February is the earliest month you can see tea production begin in China, particularly in China’s southern region Yunnan. Also, March is considered the month of premium early-spring teas.
Among the common Chinese spring teas include: Mao Feng, Lu Shan, Longjin, Huangshan, Yin Zhen white tea, and Mengding Gan Lu, among others.

2. Run of the harvest Chinese teas

“Run of the harvest” is the subsequent season after the Chinese spring tea season. These teas are often plucked during the warm weather from April to around July before the autumn harvest. Teas plucked during this season are also great due to the maturity of the leaves. As a result, these Chinese teas fetch a premium price but are lower than the early spring teas.
We could say that this is the most abundant season for standard green, black, and Oolong tea.

3. Fall Chinese teas

These teas are plucked during the fall period (also called autumn), around September to October, when the temperatures are mild, and there is less rain. Also, during this season, tea tends to show signs of slowed growth as they prepare to “recharge” during the winter.
The fall seasons are the second most abundant season for ordinary teas appropriate for tea beverages like milk tea and bubble tea. Notably, during this season, it’s easy to get Oolong and some Pu-er teas. It’s also the season for China’s best black teas with thick tea leaves.

Looking for the Best Chinese Teas?

Are you looking for the best Chinese green, black, white, or Oolong teas? Do you need a bulk tea supplier of Chinese teas?

Bluesea Tea is your ideal partner and wholesale tea supplier of various types of Chinese teas. We produce and process our teas in China and observe the quality standard of our products. For this reason, we’ve received FDA and USDA approval, among other health and standard certificates, thus allowing us to ship our teas to anywhere around the world where these standards are accepted.