I was super-excited to try this tea, as it comes from Anhui, where my beloved Keemun black teas originate. The dry, yellow-tinged green leaves are impressive, roughly of a uniform length around 1" in size and mostly straight. I can readily see that most of the pickings consist of one bud and one leaf. The hairy down on the leaves is there, but not nearly as prominent as I have seen on some other teas. Dry leaf gives off faint but very pleasing fragrance of hay, warm bread, and a hint of florals.
Brewed tea is very pale yellow-green in color, and has delicate but delightful flavors of toasted grains, pine nuts, and a floral taste not unlike the “orchid” found in many Keemun black teas. Also a touch of basic underlying sweetness. The “orchid” might just be in my imagination, because I have no idea if this tea shares any similarities in production to Keemun black tea, but at any rate there is definitely a pleasant floral quality there.
This tea is graded by Goarteastore.com as “Supreme,” which lies exactly in the middle of their grading system. Currently this is the highest-grade Huang Shan Mao Feng they sell on the website, but I would certainly be interested in trying higher grades. Despite being considered middle-of-the-road on the quality scale, this tea commands a fairly high price at $56.98 for 250 grams.
I am in love with the flavor and aroma of this tea, and I would score it even higher if only the flavors were a bit stronger and if there was a more lasting aftertaste – My favorite teas tend to linger on the palate for a while, and this one seems to fade away rather quickly.