Mar 11, 2011

updated Tea Harvest Calendar

Recently I did some updating on a Tea Harvest Calendar I made a few years ago. From time to time, people send me questions about harvest times of teas. In fact, I am not sure how to make a harvest calendar that's easy to read and inclusive of important tea information. Still, I am afraid I get stuck in between - the current harvest calendar is not easy to read, and it seems forever impossible to be inclusive. But this is the best I can do so far.

In addition, I am not exactly sure why people would like to see a harvest schedule (but indeed many people would like to). Most teas we can't get within the few weeks after harvest. And most teas are not in the best state within weeks after harvest - even for fresh-tasting green teas like Long Jing, old tea farmers would say, the tea starts to taste the best after 1-3 months of careful storage. But as a curious person myself, I can surely understand people's curiosity about tea harvest schedule. Besides, during those winter months, it's always nice to have a harvest schedule so that you would feel there are things to look forward to, especially if you are a green tea lover :D

Another potential challenge of a tea harvest schedule is, up to now, the accessible varieties of Chinese green teas in foreign market are still quite limited (many famous green teas have very small annual production and are of limited amount even in Chinese market) - what's the point including teas that most people cannot get access to? Some of those teas are still on my wish list, and some of them I don't get hold of every year. But I guess one reason to include them on the harvest schedule is, so that we have something to dream of :D The great diversity of today's US specialty tea market may not be something one could dream of 10 years ago. In the years to come, there will surely be more and more varieties and products of quality.

So here is the tea harvest schedule. The image can be clicked to enlarge. A web version is posted here:

I am sure there is a lot of negligence. I will keep working on it. Feedback and critiques will be highly appreciated.


Throughout the year, the relative positions of the sun and the earth can be expressed by 24 solar terms. Dates marking these 24 solar terms stay almost the same year by year on the international calendar. The 24 solar term marks directed a lot of agricultural activities in traditional society of China, including tea cultivation. On this Tea Harvest Calendar, the harvest dates of various teas are sorted in temporal order based on the solar terms they belong to.
More information about the 24 solar terms can be found on this webpage of Hong Kong government:
(Name translations of the solar terms are slightly different between this Tea Harvest Calendar and above webpage.)
Tea harvest dates vary slightly from year to year. The system of solar terms helps us understand how tea harvest is connected to climatic patterns.
This Tea Harvest Calendar includes names of the 24 solar terms in English and Chinese, their dates on the international calendar, and harvest times of some well-known Chinese teas. Additional notes are made about climatic changes and traditional agricultural events of some solar terms.

Part 1.
Part 2.

Part 3.

Sources of information:
1.     Tea farmers, who are, of course, the best sources of anything pertaining to tea.
2.     中国茶谱 Wan Xiaochun et al. (2007) The Book of Chinese Tea. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing.
3.     中国茶经 Chen Zongmao et al. (1992) The Tea Classic of China. Shanghai Cultural Publishing House, Shanghai.
4.     中国茶叶大辞典 Chen Zongmao et al. (2000) The Encyclopedia of Chinese Tea. China Light Industries Publishing House, Beijing.
5.     中国名茶图谱 Shi Haigen et al. (2007) The Atlas of Chinese Famous Teas. Shanghai Cultural Publishing House, Shanghai.
6.     品茶图鉴 Chen Zongmao, Yu Yongming, Liang Guobiao & Zhou Zhixiu (2009) An Atlas for Tea Tasting. Yellow Mountain Press, Hefei.
7.     中国乌龙茶 Gong Zhi (2004) China Oolong Tea. Zhejiang Photography Press, Hangzhou.
8.     中国红茶 Gong Zhi (2005) China Red Tea. Zhejiang Photography Press, Hangzhou.
9.     茶文化学 Liu Qinjin et al. (2000) Studies on Tea Culture. China Agriculture Publishing House, Beijing.


Matt said...


Great info. Thanks for your efforts.


Lew Perin said...

Thanks for making my life a bit easier!

notesontea said...

I am such a person; I appreciate the harvest calendar. You might be interested in Tea Trekker's post about spring tea harvest @