I’ve been drinking this tea at work pretty steadily, but I brought one home so I could give it enough consideration to write a tasting note. I first tried this tea back in 2009, and I think something about it has definetly changed since then. The tea I remember was very vegetal in smell, and produced a pale, distinctly green liquor. It tasted sweet, and very much like fresh cut grass. It was love at first sip, and I’ve judged every green tea against that one since then. It’s been a while, though, since I last tried it, so I was excited to open a fresh 2013 purchased packet. Unfortunately, this isn’t the tea I remember any more.
Although the packet still makes the claim that the liquor will be green, it isn’t. It’s yellow. Definetly. If you over-brew it even slightly, it turns brown. The dry leaves still smell like I remember — very sweet and almost hay-like, but this doesn’t carry through as well to the brewed tea as I feel it used to. The taste is light and vegetal, but it’s not the summer-grass taste I remember so well. It seems to have lost some of its character. It’s still a very fresh, delicate green tea, though, and one I can enjoy drinking almost any time of the day. I’m just disappointed that it’s not as amazing as I remember it used to be. There’s no bitterness or astringency if you’re careful how you brew it, but one false move and it develops a very dry mouthfeel and aftertaste.
It’s palatable, but no longer fabulous. I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for the Mao Feng of my memory.