I expected to spend the day doing my usual blend of crafting, minecrafting, blogging, and tea guzzling, but I was given a surprise! Ben decided to take me on an old fashion dinner and a movie (or matinee and dinner) date. We saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and of course I loved it. Don’t worry I won’t give any spoilers other than it was more intense than I was expecting, which I liked. Afterwards we went for customary post-Marvel movie Shawarma (certainly one of Tony Stark’s better ideas) to discuss the movie. Good times, good food, and now time for tea!
Today I am starting off another Teavivre week with Huang Shan Mao Feng from Mt Huang Shan in Anhui Province. The name of this tea translates to Yellow Mountain Fur Peak (or fur tip, peak shaped fur covered tea, there are various permutations) combining the name of the mountain it was plucked from and the shape of the leaves resembling little fuzzy mountain peaks. Huang Shan Mao Feng is one of China’s Ten Famous Teas, this particular batch was plucked April 4th, 2013, high (1,200-1,400 ft) on the mountain blanketed in clouds. The aroma is very strong, much stronger than I was expecting for such a delicate tea. A mix of strong vegetal (I would say green bean and a hint of spinach) and sesame seeds. There is a finish of yeasty bread and cherries. If I had to use one word to describe this tea it would be complex, the aroma is very much so that.
After a nice soaking (by soaking I mean rinse and 30s steep in my gaiwan, uncovered for those who care about those kinda things) the aroma of the wet leaves is still very vegetal, with notes of green bean and fresh vegetation being the strongest. There are also notes of sage and sesame with a very gentle finish of fruit. The liquid is faint yet intense, does that make sense? There are no overpowering notes, but the ones that are there are very clear and delightful. It is a blend of green beans, sesame, and fresh bread.
The first steeping is smooth, oh my is the mouthfeel smooth. I would even go so far as to say silky! It manages to fill the mouth completely, though not in a buttery way like oolong. The beginning of the taste is sweet, gently sweet like honeysuckle nectar and sesame seeds. It reminds me a of the aftertaste you get when eating sesame Halva but with a vegetal quality. After the initial sweetness it changes to green bean and lastly finishes with honey.
The aroma from the liquid is much sweeter and has a stronger vegetal quality. As with the first steep the mouthfeel is the first thing I noticed, just as smooth and silky as before, but with more of an oily quality, the mouthfeel reminds me very strongly of Long Jing. The taste is sweet and floral at first, and quite delicate. It evolves into strong sesame and green bean notes and finishes with the taste of cherry. The cherry taste lingers for quite a while.
For the third and final steeping I notice the aroma of the tea is much more subdued, but still quite sweet and vegetal. The mouthfeel remains very smooth and silky, truly it might be my favorite part about this tea. The taste, like the aroma, is more subdued, but there is still a strong sesame and green bean quality that fades to a mixture of floral and fruity sweetness. It is a nice finish to a wonderful tea. I really enjoyed this tea and can certainly see why it is one of China’s Famous Ten, it maintains the delicate aspects you expect from a Green tea while having a bold presence. Also, Ben, who historically is not a fan of green teas, really enjoyed trying it, I can think of no better praise than that!
For photos and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/teavivre-huang-shan-mao-feng-green-tea.html