What is Hyson?
Updated: May 19
Hyson, Young Hyson, Lucky Dragon Hyson, what is it all?
Well, for starters, Hyson translates to "Flourishing Spring" but is a term used to describe a particular type/grade of green tea grown in China.
Hyson style tea is generally medium sized tea leaves (leaves that grow just below the new growing shoots on the tea bush) that are rolled in a long twisted and sometimes clam-like shape. Young Hyson is prepared in the same way, except the leaves used are the "younger" new shoots at the top of the bush, hence the name "Young Hyson". Young Hyson tea is generally considered to be better quality and better tasting as the leaves are the "freshest" on the bush.
During the 1700's this tea became so highly favoured, that the British tea tax was actually higher for this variety than other teas. Lucky Dragon Hyson is from a specific factory who further identified their tea as even higher quality, because, even though made in the Young Hyson style it has a much better flavour and character to it.
The government quickly realized the potential and levied taxes on tea that remained all the way until the late 1700's. With all these taxes, and specifically higher tax on Young Hyson grade teas, there were all kinds of various plans and schemes to get around the taxes. Servants in upper class homes would dry the used leaves and resell them, others would "cut" the tea with leaves from various trees like beech or hawthorn. Smuggling teas from China into England reached a climax during the mid 1700's. The Chancellor of the Exchequer realized the extent of their losses and that only a large tax cut would make legal imports competitive with contraband tea, which finally occurred in 1784 with the passing of the Commutation Act.
You can rest assured you won't have to pay extra high taxes or worry about hawthorn leaves in your tea; you can get yourself some high quality, wonderfully fresh flavoured Lucky Dragon Hyson Green Tea over on our online shop.