High Mountain Xinyang Maojian

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea
Asparagus, Butter, Chestnut, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Seaweed, Smoke, Umami, Zucchini, Artichoke, Floral, Green, Kale, Nectar, Nutty, Smooth
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Loose Leaf
Not available
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Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 8 oz / 232 ml

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Whispering Pines Tea Company is dedicated to bringing you the most original, pure, beautiful tea blends. We use only the highest quality ingredients available to create additive-free teas teas inspired by the pristine wilderness of Northern Michigan. Our main focus is on customer satisfaction and quality.

12 Tasting Notes

1048 tasting notes

This was yet another back-of-the-tea cabinet discovery. I knew I had bought an ounce of this last year, but apparently, I had forgotten about it entirely. It was all the way in the back, still sealed, and just waiting to be tried. I finished the last of the pouch this morning after spending a couple days with it. I could not tell that it had faded all that much, if at all. Just as a side note, this review will primarily be concerned with the gongfu session I conducted with this tea yesterday, but I also tried it iced and Western. Of the three preparations, the gongfu was probably the best, though as an iced tea, this worked quite well too.

As mentioned above, I prepared this tea gongfu style. I started by steeping 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 5 seconds. I did not rinse this tea. While starting this session, I got it in my head that a rinse may sap some of the life out of the tea due to its age, and since I do not always rinse green teas anyway, just decided to skip it. The initial 5 second infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for them were 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the first infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of honey, malt, grass, and hay. The first infusion saw the emergence of smoke, nuts, and zucchini on the nose. In the mouth, I picked up a very delicate, subtle mixture of butter, malt, grass, and hay chased by a distant, vague nuttiness. Subsequent infusions brought out the butter on the nose, as well as the honey, smoke, and zucchini in the mouth. I also picked up much clearer impressions of roasted chestnut and pine nuts. Pine needle, pine resin, and soupy umami notes showed up as well, but were balanced by touches of lettuce, minerals, seaweed, and asparagus. The later infusions were very mellow and somewhat flat, offering up a noticeable mineral aroma and taste coupled with hints of lettuce, grass, malt, and chestnut.

When I first tried this tea, I thought that it was just about dead and that I would have to end up throwing it out, but that changed quickly. As it turned out, I just did not give the first infusion enough time. I initially attributed this tea’s lack of complexity to its age, but I no longer think that is the case. Reading other tasting notes for this tea revealed that it struck others as being a mostly vegetal green tea with pronounced umami notes, and in retrospect, I totally get that. Also, I have tried similar teas in the past and I do not recall ever having one that totally wowed me with its complexity. In essence, I was looking for something that wasn’t there. With that in mind, I have to say that I greatly enjoyed this green tea for what it was. In my opinion, it was more or less exactly what a traditional Xinyang Maojian should be.

Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Chestnut, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lettuce, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Seaweed, Smoke, Umami, Zucchini

175 °F / 79 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1758 tasting notes

I get primarily a vegetal note from this tea. A bit of a umami note developed too. While I think this is good quality tea it just isn’t what I like to drink. But as I only bought an ounce it’s ok.

Steeped this two times in a 400ml Kyusu with 8g leaf and 175 degree water. I steeped it for 1 min and 1.5 min.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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1704 tasting notes

I’m almost finished with the sample. I brewed my tea lighter and I enjoyed it a lot more. Fresh light body with the vegetal notes I like in a green tea with a juicy mouth feel.

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526 tasting notes

Juicy! This brew is pure life water! I opened up the package and was blasted in the face by a sweet aromatic nectar and fresh greens scent. This took me back to the spring harvest from earlier this year. The scent was so fresh and green. I was reminded of the bi lo chun from April. The scent was deep and rugged, yet it was also still floral and sweet. I placed some inside my warmed teapot and gave it a shake. The scent deepened to heavier greens alike, spinach, kale, and artichoke. These bulky greens was wrapped up in a syrupy floral fragrance. This tea is bringing me back to spring. The tea is super hardy so no need to worry about over brewing. The liquor is beautiful. The brew is a delicate translucent white. You can spot only the slightest of difference in water color. The taste is phenomenal The initial sip begins intensely sweet. The brew fills the mouth and gives a nice floral finish (lily or tulips). The base consists of watercress, chestnut, and brief apricot. The brew is so light and clear, but it tastes so thick and syrupy. There is a light drying sensation that follows each drink, but this feeling is soothed by a silky mouth feel. The easiest way to describe this brew is the taste of mountain air during the spring. The tea gives off such life, and it’s delicious. I was able to re steep this brew about four times, which I find to be a lot for green tea. The brew continued to be almost completely clear and fantastically sweet. I’m very happy to have been able to try this, and I still have a little left.



Flavors: Artichoke, Chestnut, Floral, Green, Kale, Nectar, Nutty, Smooth

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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1113 tasting notes

It’s always wonderful when someone swaps with you and you see something from your wishlist :)

I actually brewed this twice before I left for work. Drank around 16oz of it and then took about 12oz with me to work in my thermos. This is a solid green tea. Smooth and strong enough to have a distinct taste that confirms its quality.

I’ve had greens that were better and greens that were much worse, but what I like most about this is the ability to drink a lot in a sitting without any issues of mouth feel.

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661 tasting notes

Backlog: I received this tea while doing a detox and all my teas were tasting off so I waited until I was done and was sure my taste buds were back to normal. I was really looking forward to trying this tea and it does not disappoint!

It definitely is pricey but due to low quantities it’s not something a person could stock up on either. That just makes it a special tea for once in awhile.

The leaves of this tea are sooo green. Almost luminescent when wet. I think I just brewed it Western style for 2 min at 185.

It’s a very light green tea. There is nuttiness which is in most green but the nutty flavour was subdued and brought to the forefront was a sweet spinach/asparagus. It reminded me of Japanese teas but not as much umami, lighter and more sweet. Most Japanese have very short infusion times and will become bitter or too strong if brewed over that. This tea can take a longer infusion time (brewed up to 3 min on 2nc infusion)and still remain sweet.

It does not taste like any maojian I’ve ever had. It tastes way better. Sooooo delicious. I wish this tea was cheap. I’d stock pile it.

It also has a major energy kick to it. You wouldn’t expect that from a green but it does. I notice with Japanese teas , they have a big caffeine kick too. Maybe it’s how the leaves are processed. I wonder if the leaves here were processed like the Japanese teas?

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557 tasting notes

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921 tasting notes

Last night was the first night of the Dropzone Commander Tournament, but alas I did not play my game because my opponent because he had to take care of his baby, so instead I served the players tea. I have decided that mixing my passions is just a logical choice, luckily everyone seemed to like the tea, problem is I need more cups, but that problem is fixing itself as we speak. On the news of DZC, I won the league’s painting contest, so it is safe to say I am very pleased with myself, totally going to take my little award and hang it on my wall.

Today’s tea is a preview for a tea that Whispering Pines Tea Co will be stocking a small amount of in the near future, High Mountain Xinyang Maojian Green Tea! The name combines region and description of the leaf, it comes from Xinyang County in Henan, China and the Maojian part refers to the fuzzy leaf tips, yay for trichomes! I am going to start out by saying there are green teas and there are luminous teas that capture the essence of life…yeah, it is going to be one of those posts, so strap yourselves in. When I opened the pouch and scooped out the needed leaves, I let out a ‘whoa’ hopefully not sounding like Keanu Reeves, but I probably did, these leaves are crazy vibrant! They have beautiful silver fuzz which makes them almost look like they are shimmery, like the surface of water. Oh man, the aroma of these leaves is so fresh, like really super fresh, like did they just come straight from the field fresh! It blends notes of sweetly nutty chestnut and fresh green spinach, and the best part…like tea flowers. It smells like blooming tea flowers (I totally got to sniff them when I was in Charleston) they are subtle and honey sweet, smelling ethereal, just like this tea.

Into the gaiwan the leaves go, and they seem to become even greener somehow, which is impressive. The aroma of the now steeped and soggy leaves is so fresh and so green, blending clean mountain air, fresh growth, chestnuts, fresh asparagus, fresh spinach, and a distant hint of flowers, less tea flowers and more something slightly spicy like tulips. The liquid is also very clean, hmm, seeing a theme here? Blend a sense of cleanness with fresh spinach and asparagus, sweet peas, and a touch of growing bamboo for a very green smelling tea.

I am glad I was sitting down when I first took a sip of the first steep, because it is a tea that would have knocked me off my feet. It is so delicate while having such crisp and distinct notes, starting with a velvety smooth mouthfeel and moving right into a clean green sweetness. It reminded me of my favorite notes taken from Anji Bai Cha and Dragonwell and put into a super light tea. There are notes of sweet peas, chestnuts, a touch of spinach and a light note of asparagus, unlike a lot of Maojians I have tried, this one is only light on the savory, adding touches of sweetness and floral.

So, right after I finished that paragraph I wandered off to Tabletop to play my first tournament league, in case you are curious, I won on objectives, but my opponent did kill most my Scourge…my kill to death ratio is intensely bad! Also, as a side note, I had this tea in my travel steeper, it performed beautifully, no surprise there. Anyway, the second steep needs attention now, and the aroma of the gently steaming liquid is beautiful, it is the embodiment of clean mountain air, misty and green, fresh with new life in spring. Yes that is a silly poetic description, but this tea is one that fills my mind with images rather than with aroma notes, all teas do that to me, but some more strongly than others. The mouthfeel is just as velvety smooth as the previous steep, the taste more intense, starting off with sweet peas and chestnuts, the midtaste is smoothly green spinach and artichoke, with a tiny hint of mineral, much like spring water. The finish had a lingering note of floral, distant floral brought on a breeze rather than sitting next to a vase of flowers, meaning it was hard to identify.

For the third steep, oh man, the aroma is still so delightful, though I am able to piece together more than just images and emotions this time, there are notes of crisp vegetation, chestnut sweetness, and a finish of peas and asparagus. The taste is still pretty fantastic, going strong, it has a wonderful peaceful Cha Qi, this could be a great tea to meditate over, or to accompany you while doing something thoughtful (like painting and wargaming?) there are notes of asparagus and sweet pea, chestnut and a touch of bok choy at the finish. It is safe to say many steeps were had! The best part of this tea was sharing it, Brendan of WPT was awesome and shared some of this beauty with me, so letting my friends at gaming night try it seemed the perfect thing to do. They all agree, this tea is a thing of beauty.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/whispering-pines-tea-co-high-mountain.html


Mmmmmm Sounds like my kind of tea. Putting that on my wish list.

Tommy Toadman

Great post!

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359 tasting notes

Greens have arrived at Whispering Pines!

Green teas aren’t usually my go to teas and I’m quite critical of them. I don’t like the grassiness and overly vegetal taste they often have.

Having said that, I do appreciate some of them, dragonwell being my favorite.

When I received this maojian to sample, I was really excited and curious about it. We all know that Brenden settles only for the best so if he decides to sell something, I have high expectations for it.

This tea doesn’t disappoint.

Perfect vibrant green leaves, they look like mini longjing sticks.

I used gongfu brewing method.

First steep and wow! How to describe it?

This is not your typical grassy green. It’s very sweet and fresh at the same time.

I get a sweet minty taste, with notes of artichokes maybe. Asparagus might be noticeable as well, those fresh crunchy asparagus you get early spring.

None of the seaweed saltiness often associated with greens.

Anise is present, but very very subtle. I feel that at the tip of my tongue.

I forgot steep three and it steeped for a good 3 minutes. I was expecting bitterness. But it seems impossible to mess up this tea, it was still sweet and delicious.

Warning though: this will provide some kick ass energy boost. DO NOT DRINK AT NIGHT like I did the first time I had it…Let’s just say I felt woozy for a while!!! ;-)

I’m very happy with this green, it’s a keeper!

Thanks for the generous sample Brenden :-)






Gorgeous pictures!


+1 TTF is quite a pro photog.

Tommy Toadman

Great photos!


Thank you so much y’all!! :-)


What a lovely liquor color.

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