While the floral notes of this Chinese green tea are reminiscent of wild peaches and magnolias, the complex character gives this tea a refreshing flavor, a smooth finish, and a long lasting clean aftertaste.
The leaf has a pleasantly sweet, mildly fragrant aroma, with a hint of magnolia.
The leaves are emerald green, with the young and tender buds taking on an antique ivory luster.
The buds are more round than Dragon Well buds.
The leaves are small, only 4-5 mm. in length.
The highest grades use only one bud and the first leaf. Lower grades will use one bud and two leaves.
The brew in the cup usually varies from golden to clear apricot.
Some regions and elevations produce a liquor that is light chartreuse.
Serving Mao Feng tea
This Chinese green tea is for times of new beginnings and when memories of spring can help you to look forward.
Always finish this tea before the next spring harvest at the end of March, so you can buy a fresh supply.
Mao Feng tea works well with goat cheese, and some cheddars like Cheshire and Dubliner.
It complements mesclun salads, melon and fruit salads, but it really shines with seafood like lobster.
It is also good with salmon and rice dishes, as well as standing up to spicy Chinese food.
While it can work with a few chocolates, it is best with apple or raspberry desserts.
How do you make Mao Feng tea?
The highest grades of this tea should be steeped no more than three minutes with hot but not boiling water, using about a teaspoon of leaf per cup.
The best grades will take up to three infusions.
The lower grades can be steeped up to five minutes to extract all the antioxidants, but used only once.
What is its history?
Grown in the Huang Shan mountains of An Hui province for over 300 years, Mao Feng tea is one of China's 10 Famous Teas.
You can still occasionally find a hand-picked harvest for sale from wild tea trees of the Huang Shan mountains, but it is rare.
It has been a tribute tea to emperors and recently, a high grade of Tea King Huang Shan Mao Feng was chosen as a National Gift Tea for presentation to foreign VIPs by the Chinese Foreign Affair Board.
This tea is only harvested during Qingding, the spring harvest festival during the spring equinox.
For a few days, the buds are plucked just at the beginning of the gentle spring rains when the buds begin to swell.
Sometimes lower grades of Mao Feng are picked after the beginning of the heavier rains or Gu Yu, grain rains.
There are also teagardens that produce this tea in southern Zhejiang province and in Sichuan on Mt. Emei, one of the four sacred mountains of Buddhism.
This tea is prepared in small batches. The bud and leaves are rolled into a wiry eyebrow shape.
You may see a fine downy appearance, instead of a shiny appearance.
Drying consists of several stages of heating and cooling to seal the aroma inside the tea.
Higher grades have smaller leaves of a more consistent size.
While "taste is a decision for the mouth to make," the highest grades of Chinese green tea also have the highest ratings for taste.
They usually come from a higher elevation garden, from wild tea trees, from picking at the right moment during the spring rains, and using careful processing.
Of course, like a great wine, it also has to be a good year.
It originates in the Huang Shan mountains, An Hui Province, southern Zhejiang Province, and from Mt. Emei, Sichuan Province.
It may also be called Yellow Mountain Fur Peak
Discover more about gourmet teas with a free subscription to the Green Tea Health Newsletter:
Did you like this page on mao feng tea? Here are more gourmet loose leaf teas
This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.
Here's a Peppermint Chocolate tea for your sweetie:
How about a super Double Dark Chocolate mate?:
Try this smooth Chocolate Mint Truffle:
A Valentine's Day tea like chocolate-dipped strawberries:
And a teapot covered in hearts to serve these delicious teas in:
Subscribe now and don't miss a single issue.
Find out more!