|"The aroma was - if anything else - quite fresh, like taking a whiff of a newly opened salad bar."|
Huang Shan Mao Feng is a green tea grown near Yellow Mountain. The "Mao Feng" moniker means "Fur Peak", and doesn't denote a specific leaf cultivar but rather a picking method. Mao Feng teas - both green and black - have two leaves and buds picked of equal length; they also possess a broad and curved appearance ideal for infusing (...supposedly).
A local legend regarding the Huang Shan variety posits that a young woman fell in love with a scholar, but a local landowner noticed her one day picking tea. Summoning all his real estate "acumen", he forced her parents to offer her up for marriage. In typical tragic romance trappings, the night before the wedding, she escaped to meet with the scholar. However, the landowner had him killed. (You know the type.) She cried at his grave until she became rain, and said tears transformed him into a tea tree.
Aaaand...roll credits to the tune of Yo-Yo Ma's cello.
I was quite surprised with the very wild appearance of this tea. Most Chinese greens are rolled or flattened. The only wildernessy looking offering I've seen was Bai Mu Dan, but that was a white tea. I found stems and twigs for every leaf in here. That said, it smelled lovely - only slightly vegetal and buttery (as green teas go) with a shade of pine.
Brewing instructions were - to my relief - easy as far as Life in Teacup diagrams went. The mug instructions mentioned to use 194F water for a two-to-five-minute steep. I lessened that slightly to 180 for two-and-a-half. Well within regs for an unknown green. 1 teaspoon in 8oz, of course.
At only half over the two-minute mark, the liquor brewed up pretty clear with a lining of gold-green color. The aroma was - if anything else - quite fresh, like taking a whiff of a newly opened salad bar. There was the requisite buttery character to the scent, but that gave more credit to the salad bar comparison. Taste-wise, the salad(-y) "note" vanished to make way for a crisp and floral cup with a slightly creamy middle and a pleasant lotus-like finish. An above average cup of green for this here wannabe scholar.
— To purchase Life in Teacup Pre-GuYu Huang Shan Mao Feng, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
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