I’ve had many quality offerings from Harney and this was no different. I ordered their 1.5 oz tin a few weeks ago but hadn’t had to time to review it.
The dry leaf appears to be well preserved staying true to its name of mao feng (most leaves were truly one leaf or two and a bud). It had a nice earthy green color, fuzz covered buds, and had a subtle smoky grassy aroma.
I prepared this tea in a gaiwan, following the website’s brewing guidelines of 2-3 min steep time and 175F water.
My first cup I brewed it for 2 minutes, this yielded a pale green cup with a very very faint grassy aroma. The taste was vegetal and slightly grassy, very smooth, and with a strong but subtle smoky finish. The combination of grassy/smokyness gave a nice warm feeling while drinking it. The second cup, this time brewed for 3 minutes, featured a stronger green grassy flavor, no aroma, and with a much subtler smoky finish. Out of the two cups, Id say the first one was better.
Upon checking the wet leaf, some leaves revealed little burned edges, like if they had been burned by sunlight under a magnifying glass.
Overall, I thought this tea to be quite good. I really enjoyed the smoky flavor as I feel it compliments the green taste this tea offers. I don’t know if the smoky taste should be there though, as this is perhaps the only Huangshan Mao feng I have tried that has it (then again I still need to try many more from other tea vendors). I was surprised to see the burn damage on some of the leaves, perhaps that’s the origin of the smoky taste? Anyways, great tea, not too expensive, and quite unique.