How Dragon Claw Tea is Crafted in the Heart of Vietnam's Mountains


What is Dragon Claw Tea?

Tucked away in Vietnam's northern highlands, within the serene landscapes of Chieu Lau Thi and Tay Con Linh in Ha Giang, resides the extraordinary Dragon Claw Tea. This distinctive tea, also sourced from the rugged terrains of Yunnan, China, comes from ancient wild Camellia Crassicolumna trees, aged at least a century, flourishing at elevations of 1500 to 2200 meters.



Dragon Claw Tea is a variant of Ya Bao, harvested from the axillary buds of non-sinensis tea tree varieties.  These buds emerge in the winter and will eventually develop into branches.

The ongoing debate regarding its classification as either tea or herb enhances its allure. Nonetheless, its unparalleled taste and striking appearance have established it as a globally esteemed rare tea variety


What is Dragon Claw Tea


The Harvesting Process

The process of harvesting Dragon Claw Tea is as delicate as the tea itself. Collectors embark on a journey to gather 300 - 500 g of buds per day from the old trees. This careful approach ensures that only the finest buds are chosen.

harvesting Dragon Claw

Production Techniques

After harvesting, the buds undergo a slow drying process, either under the sun or in machines where temperatures gradually rise from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius. This methodical approach preserves the tea's health benefits and its distinctive aromatic profile, ensuring that each cup offers a pure and unique taste.

Production of Ya bao tea


Taste and Aroma Profile

Upon infusion, Dragon Claw Tea reveals its pale golden liquor, exuding a robust fruity floral aroma. The dense buds, once steeped, unfold their complex flavors, offering notes of floral, fruity, woody, and peppery nuances, culminating in a taste reminiscent of guava candy. 

 Dragon Claw Tea at


Suggested Brewing Methods

To fully appreciate the essence of Dragon Claw Tea, a brewing temperature of 90-100 degrees Celsius is recommended, with a steeping time of 30 seconds to a minute. For a stronger infusion, a light simmer in a pot, reflecting local traditions, can unlock the tea's full flavor spectrum.


Health Benefits and Cultural Significance

Dragon Claw Tea is not just celebrated for its taste but also for its health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, it embodies energizing qualities and vitality of white tea and sheng puer simultaneously.

Challenges in Production and Sustainability

The limited harvest of Dragon Claw Tea, a result of its slow, labor-intensive collection process and the rarity of the ancient trees, poses challenges to its availability. However, efforts towards sustainable production are underway, ensuring that this precious tea can be enjoyed by future generations.


Order Dragon Claw Tea here 


Watch You Tube vlog from Sergey Shevelev about Ya Bao tea production in Vietnam.

Written by Anna Leona
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