Dong Pian (冬片) tea is produced after the winter harvest. This is a period when the tea plant usually goes into dormancy, but if the weather is sufficiently warm the tea plants are "tricked" into thinking it is spring and begin to sprout.
These new sprouts are called pian (片) meaning slice or piece. So the name Dong Pian (dōng piàn - 冬片) literally means "winter slice".
The picture below shows the "slice" as well as the thickness of the tea leaves.
High mountain oolong tea is usually harvested only once per winter, from late October to November. If the weather permits, Dong Pian tea will sprout in December to January, and plucked before the usual Spring harvest.
The cold temperatures produce a thick tea leaf which brews to a sweet full-mouthed tea, with a remarkable smoothness that is not found in other types of tea.
Dong Pian can be steeped a very long time without producing any bitterness. The leaves can be re-steeped many times, so we recommend the first steep to be about 3 minutes, with subsequent steeps progressively longer.
This tea is available in very limited quantities during the winter months only.