Dragon Well has different names for fresh tea leaves picked from different periods of time among the germination of tea bud to the formation of new leaf. We are not talking about its originated place but its tenderness. You will learn how to buy Dragon Well Tea by its appearance after you read this.
Generally speaking, the high grade teas including tribute, imperial, superfine I and Superfine II, should be picked before the Clear and Bright(the QingMing Day), and limited on picking the single bud which the picked fresh leaves is named Dragon Teeth. The Sparrow Tongue, named for “one bud with one new expanded leaf” fresh leaves, is also picked at this period of time, and normally from 1.5 cm to 2 cm length with its bud appears longer than its leaf.
Mid-grade teas (I, II and III) are picked before the Grain Rain and after Clear Bright which we call it YuQian. The picked fresh leaves from this period of time is named Pennon, it carries one bud and one half expanded leaf appearance. Sometimes is named Rough Pennon when it shows one bud with one full expanded leaf, or one bud and two new expanded leave with its length about 2.3 cm to 2.7 cm.
The lower grade teas below, are picked after the Grain Rain. The fresh leaves taken under this time are named Elephant. Elephant leaves are consisted of one bud and two or three full expanded leaves, or a pair of same tenderness leaves about 2.8 cm to 3 cm at its length.
These photos show the superior quality to lower quality tea leaves, can obviously tell the differences between them. Lower quality dragon well tea are made of older leaves that the whole leaf looks bigger and rougher while the better quality dragon well tea has younger and smaller appearance.