Drinking this Mao Feng from Mandala Tea now. Quite different from the last Mao Feng I tried (from Goldfish Tea). The dry tea leaves of these two examples look remarkably different. The Goldfish leaves were uniformly greener and relatively straight, a bit like long thin pine needles. The leaves of Mandala’s Mao Feng are a mixture lighter and darker leaves, less obviously green, and generally wavy in shape. Looks like a very different processing method was used to finish each of these teas.
[Edit: Take note of the comments attached. I’ve been informed that the difference between the two Mao Feng teas I describe and compare is due to their being from two different growing regions: Yunnan and Huang Shan respectively.]
The dry leaves here have a potent and sweet, fruity aroma. Interestingly, that sweet fruitiness is not represented in the flavor. The brewed tea is actually much more savory. After five infusions in the gaiwan, I would say that the predominating flavor characteristic of this Mao Feng is . . . . split pea. Yes, the brewed tea tastes and smells very much like split pea soup. Bold, hearty, and slightly salty, but never in an unpleasant way.
Fascinating. This is so different from the last one. Whereas the last one had me scratching my head in an attempt to associate it’s flavor with something, this one has a flavor that I can positively identify. The aftertaste here doesn’t interest me as much as that of the Mao Feng from Goldfish Tea (that one captivated me). In some ways I feel like this Mao Feng shares more similarities with the Jing Shan green tea from Verdant Tea, than it does with the other Mao Feng I recently tried, which surprises and kind of bewilders me. For one thing, the leaves of this tea look more similar to the Jing Shan green. They also share a slight affinity in taste; on top of the split pea note here I perceive hints of the asparagus note that is often present in the Jing Shan tea. By contrast, the Mao Feng from Goldfish had a much less vegetable flavor, was generally softer, and perhaps more cooling than warming. This one feels warming.
I like this Mao Feng, and split pea is one of my favorite soups. I don’t know that I want it for breakfast, but I think it will be suitable for afternoon or sometimes early evening drinking, especially on cold days. The variance between these two Mao Feng teas is intriguing, and makes me want to try several more of them. I need to get some bearings on this tea.