Review: Driftwood Tea Pre Rain Huang Shan Mao Feng

Driftwood Tea, Green Tea, Mao Feng Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"These are definitely leaves of exceptional quality. Each of the 4 steeps I had was bright, engaging, perfectly smooth and well balanced. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10
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This tea is generally accepted as being part of China's elite “famous ten” traditional teas. Picked prior to April 5th, 2011, this high altitude green is a delicate collage of sweet and savoury notes. The name translates to “Yellow Mountain Fur Peak”, referring to the down on the leaves. I can in fact spot some silver hairs on the buds. Otherwise the slender leaves are a mix of olive and khaki hues. They emit a sweet, floral fragrance with a smoky undertone to it.

Following the suggested brewing directions, I infused approximately 2.5 grams (or approximately a heaping teaspoonful) of leaves in water heated to 75 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes. The pale gold liquor is infused with a light burnt sugar and steamed greens scent. Buttery, with mineral notes, this is a rather smooth and subtle green tea. There are some vegetal tones peaking out, but they are mild, almost to the point of being elusive. The sweet, lingering aftertaste is reminiscent of powdered sugar. While it's not flashy or emphatic, this is a well balanced, quietly pleasant cup.

My second and favourite brew is alternately smoky, brothy and grassy sweet. After a 3 minute steep, this infusion was much more pungent than the first. The flavour of water chestnuts and honeysuckle particularly come to mind, especially as part of the sweet finish. The overall feeling was of a more full-bodied, fulfilling and complex cup.

After a 4 minute steep, sweet, apricot-like top notes dominate the steep. The brothy quality has all but disappeared. Rather, a more potent vegetal finish has developed at this point. The flavour profile is less complex than before but still very smooth.

A very respectable fourth infusion can be had following a 5 minute steep. Fruity notes mingle over top of savoury, nori and kelp flavours. Oddly, this cup has a thicker feel than the previous steeps. While this cup is still good, I feel the leaves are starting to lose momentum.

These are definitely leaves of exceptional quality. Each of the 4 steeps I had was bright, engaging, perfectly smooth and well balanced. My only caveat: this is not a tea to be paired with food. While I didn't have to try too hard to taste what was going on, its delicate flavour profile would easily be overwhelmed by others. I would highly recommend it as a light, contemplative cup.

— To purchase Driftwood Tea Pre Rain 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.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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