First Flush Mao Feng Yunnan Green Tea * Spring 2017

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grass, Hay, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Lime, Malt, Mineral, Nectar, Orchid, Pear, Pine, Smoke, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Straw, Sugarcane, Zucchini, Lavender, Nutty, Sap, Umami, Vegetal, Honey, Sweet, Broth, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Smooth
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 oz / 130 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’m not sure why this is, but in scanning reviews of several Mao Feng green teas on Steepster, I have noticed that impressions of them tend to be all over the map. Just to reiterate, I do not get...” Read full tasting note
    93
  • “Very light tea, floral with nutty hints. I think it might be too subtle for me though. Sure, there are times when a light tea is nice, but this is not one I would go for regularly. It mainly tastes...” Read full tasting note
    62
  • “This sure is a beautiful tea. The silver and dark green leaves and the airy texture look great in a glass jar. Dry leaves smell mostly vegetal with a bit of honey. I did gonfu in an open gaiwan....” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “Another sample from the same teafriend! I normally don’t bother with green teas, aside from the occasional sencha or gyokuro, as it’s annoying to have to drink them while they’re still fresh and I...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Mao Feng green tea is from Yunnan “large leaf” varietal tea tree. Unlike other green teas it is not rolled and the leaves and buds stay largely unbroken. The flavor is bold and nutty but if not over-brewed is smooth and satisfying. This is the highest grade Yunnan Mao Feng available!

First Flush of Spring! Very tender and tippy with vibrant umami and sweet that will soothe and stimulate!

The taste is green and vegetal, with notes of green chestnut and fresh flowers. Sweet aftertaste and nice mouth watering effect!

Small Batch Hand-Processed Large Hairy Silver Buds Super clear tea soup!

Harvest Area: Yin Pan Mountain of Simao
Harvest time: Mid-February 2017

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

Company description not available.

9 Tasting Notes

93
605 tasting notes

I’m not sure why this is, but in scanning reviews of several Mao Feng green teas on Steepster, I have noticed that impressions of them tend to be all over the map. Just to reiterate, I do not get this at all. Maybe it’s because I have a fairly well-documented love of Mao Feng green teas, especially those coming out of Yunnan Province, but I just do not see why such clean, accessible green teas have such a mixed reputation. Before I started working on posting this review, I took a quick glance over the reviews of this tea and came away from them even more befuddled. I suppose I could just be an outlier when it comes to this particular tea and teas of this style in general because I loved this one and found it to offer a wonderful drinking experience.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After my usual brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea in 4 ounces of 176 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 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. Yes, I used the same brewing method on the Early Spring 2017 Yunnan Bao Hong Green Tea. I’m totally a creature of habit.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of hay, grass, malt, nuts, smoke, and roasted corn coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I noted new scents of corn husk, straw, and cream. The first proper infusion then introduced a hint of butter to the nose. In the mouth, I found mild, smooth notes of butter, cream, and malt balanced by a slight nuttiness, vague hints of hay and grass, and a touch of corn-like character. Subsequent infusions offered clearer, more distinctive impressions of roasted corn and corn husk as well as stronger notes of hay and grass in the mouth. Smoke and straw notes appeared on the palate too, though they were often rather subtle. I began to find a distinct note of chestnut and wholly new impressions of nectar, orchid, squash blossom, sugarcane, lime, minerals, asparagus, bamboo, lettuce, zucchini, pine, spinach, and lemon zest. At times I could even detect hints of soybean and some tart fruitiness (almost like a mix of pear and sour apricot) on the finish. The later infusions offered a clean minerality on the nose and in the mouth. I also found lingering impressions of cream, malt, and hay backed by traces of sugarcane, chestnut, citrus, lettuce, and butter. There was even a little corn husk character that turned up on the swallow.

This was one of those teas that seemed a lot simpler than it was. Had I not taken the time to carefully and patiently ponder each sniff and sip, I undoubtedly would have gotten a lot less out of it. I found that this tea required focus and dedication in order to fully appreciate it, and as such, it was not the kind of tea with which I could allow myself to slack. Each infusion offered something new, even if only a slight variation on what came before, but the tea required me to work to determine what precisely was going on with it as the drinking session progressed. Ultimately I think that may be why reviews for this tea seem so scattershot. This tea was a slow burn; you could not rush it into revealing its charms. It was demanding, even a little temperamental at times. In the end, however, it was extremely satisfying. All of this being said, I will offer the follow assessment: this is not a tea for someone just getting into green teas or those looking for a quick, light, and easy afternoon cuppa. In my opinion, you have to take your time with it, but if/when you do, the pay off can be enormous. If that approach does not work for you, maybe I am just some weird Mao Feng outlier after all.

Flavors: Apricot, Asparagus, Bamboo, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grass, Hay, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Lime, Malt, Mineral, Nectar, Orchid, Pear, Pine, Smoke, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Straw, Sugarcane, Zucchini

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
tperez

I liked previous years’ FF Maofeng, but this one seemed way to mild to me. Couldn’t seem to coax much flavor out of it

eastkyteaguy

The first session I did with this tea was hit or miss. It seemed like I either got a ton of flavor or virtually none depending on the infusion. The last two sessions, however, were great. The first flushes of Mao Feng usually seem to be either light, sweet, and subtle or kind of astringent. I had another 2017 first flush from a different vendor recently that struck me as being kind of salty and off-putting.

eastkyteaguy

One thing I think that helped me was sinuses being clear and cleansing my palate thoroughly before I began. This is one of those subtle Mao Feng greens, so I knew I had to be in the appropriate frame of mind and physically prepared to pick up subtle aromas and flavors. I definitely could not drink this tea today being so stuffed up, so I guess it is a good thing I finished the last of my 50 gram pouch last night.

LuckyMe

Mao Fengs have been hit or miss for me as well. Sometimes they’ll taste like drinking hot water, other times it will taste kind of funky but I haven’t written them off yet because every so often there’s one that impresses me. You may be right about first flushes though. I often find the 2nd flush of many Chinese greens more flavorful.

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62
67 tasting notes

Very light tea, floral with nutty hints. I think it might be too subtle for me though. Sure, there are times when a light tea is nice, but this is not one I would go for regularly.

It mainly tastes like sugary water. The smell is more enticing, I noticed some resemblance with lavender and orchid.

I should try a cold brew at some point to see if it yields better results. Also, right now it’s winter in Canada and I have a feeling this tea might fare better as a summer tea.

Flavors: Lavender, Nutty, Orchid, Sap, Sugarcane

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Kirkoneill1988

i’m not sure if i have tried scott’s mao feng

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80
42 tasting notes

This sure is a beautiful tea. The silver and dark green leaves and the airy texture look great in a glass jar. Dry leaves smell mostly vegetal with a bit of honey. I did gonfu in an open gaiwan. Short infusions. Liquor was pale, as expected. Light and delicate vegetal and some sweetness. Smooth. After three infusions in my small gaiwan, I poured some simple syrup and a squirt of lemon in a tumbler and brewed up three more quick infusions and poured it over the ice. Delicious. I could drink this green tea every day as a sweetened green tea, but not as much as a hot tea. Just my personal preference. The tea is an excellent green tea. I know, I’m a heathen.

Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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455 tasting notes

Another sample from the same teafriend! I normally don’t bother with green teas, aside from the occasional sencha or gyokuro, as it’s annoying to have to drink them while they’re still fresh and I just like oolong and puerh better 9.9/10 times. I certainly wasn’t going to say no to a package which included some fresh teas though! I think this one is the first fresh Chinese green I have tried.

I tried it gongfu first, and found it to be so-so. It was vegetal and brothy with a bit of grassiness.

I much preferred it the second time I drank it when I did grandpa style. It took a while for all of the leaves to sink to the bottom, so I had to filter through my teeth for the first couple mugs full. The flavor was actually pretty intense at the start – very brothy and nutty, with a bit of a vegetal flavor as well. The nuttiness was the main flavor I noticed through most of the session. I think there may have been a bit of straw or hay underneath as well. I didn’t pick up any notes which I would describe as “bright” or “crisp.” No fruit or anything like that. The flavor also had an unusual depth to it, which I had a bit of trouble placing, but I think it was some umami in the nutty flavor which was tricking my palate some.

I certainly enjoyed my time with this tea, but Mao Feng won’t be something that I pick up on a regular basis or anything.

Flavors: Broth, Hay, Nutty, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
tanluwils

Perhaps the most annoying thing about green tea is how easily it oxidizes – it sounds like that’s what happened with your sample. It doesn’t keep well anywhere unless you have one of those double-lidded tea tins, and even then you still gotta finish it fast.

S.G. Sanders

Glad you tried it. I think this is some of the better green I’ve had, but like yourself, puerh is my #1 go to. :P

Matu

Yea, Pu #1! :P

And yea, tanluwils – that is why I haven’t bought much green tea. Like when I bought a decent-sized order of Japanese greens, I just got a bunch of tiny samples. Can’t have em going bad/stale on me.

tanluwils

I feel ya. I try not to buy too many greens, but went on a bit of a buying spree this spring to feed by shincha craving. I’ve had good luck keeping my greens (including green oolongs) in air tight Japanese tea tins. They can stay tasty for about a year if stored in a cool dark place. I keep unopened packs in the fridge and take them out to settle to room temp for several days if I plan to open them.

Spatulab

I had the same experience. The less attention I pay to this tea the more I like it — it has turned out to be a great one for the office.

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77
639 tasting notes

The leaves on this tea almost look like a white tea: long and spindly with colours of white, light green, & dark green.

It’s a very light green with notes of hay & a slight buttery nuttiness. It’s also very sweet on the tongue. I enjoy this one but not quite as much as my more robust greens.

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33 tasting notes

I’ve had this grandpa style a couple times now and it’s pretty nice. Light hay and grass flavor with a big floral nose (not sickly sweet floral, it’s gentle but big if that makes sense). A little bit of umami as described on the web site.

I brew it with 6-7g in a 12oz glass, 175F water initially then ~190F water for the re-ups (topping up with water when the glass becomes ~2/3 full). It floats for the first half hour or so so you’ll want a lidded cup. Drinking pretty slowly and lazily it lasts a few hours this way before it’s just hot yellow water.

Awesome daily drinker at a very low price point. It’s also easier on the stomach than most greens and doesn’t dry out my mouth.

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82
313 tasting notes

I love fresh spring greens! While most of the year I prefer to drink darker teas, tis the season for the lightly oxidized. I got a few in my Yunnan Sourcing order, and have a few more coming from Teavivre sometime this week.

The leaves are fresh and soft with lots of silvery buds. Brews almost clear with a light floral and vegetal aroma. The taste is light, fresh, and mineral with notes of edamame, chestnut, and milder mushrooms like oyster or enoki. It’s somewhat sweet and feels round in the mouth. A very enjoyable green, especially when it’s so recently picked.

Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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98
239 tasting notes

The green harvest this year is making me rethink the schedule for which I buy tea! I typically buy greens with all the major sales in the autumn, but I’m starting to see the appeal of buying them fresh and springy.

I got this as a sample from a tea friend. It seems a lot of teaple I socialize with aren’t into the greens, so it’s nice to have a green friend to trade with. Thank you tea friend!

The dry leaves of this tea are so beautiful—green, silver, fluffy, with little silver hairs. It reminds me of the softest, newest growth on an evergreen tree first thing in spring, which is almost exactly what this is, minus the evergreen.

The tea itself steeps out almost completely clear, and I would know! The cup I’m using today is glass. I even oversteeped it once to see what it would do. It never got bitter or astringent.

Either my palate is suffering from multiple personality disorder, or this tea is exceedingly complex. Then again, it may just be the fact that I haven’t yet eaten anything this morning. I’m just going to list them here in order of descending dominating flavors: fresh white grapes, grass, honey/bee pollen, chestnuts, umami, pine, honeysuckle, and hay. The brew is thick, sweet, and thirst quenching.

It’s a sweet refreshing tea that reminds me of sitting on a porch somewhere on a farm in Georgia on a cool morning that’s about to heat up. Someone’s cutting the yard and trimming the bushes.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
tperez

I liked this one a lot last year, can’t wait to try this year’s harvest!

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356 tasting notes

‘Tis the time of year for all the wonderful fresh harvest teas, and this is my first time trying some of the fresh spring stuff YS carries. I tried their mao feng last year later in the year and enjoyed it, so figured this would be a good one to try. I wasn’t wrong.

This mao feng has a sweet, vegetal aroma and flavor, and the liquor seriously pours almost clear. It is light and refreshing with an almost syrupy smoothness, and it makes the mouth water without being drying.

I find the flavors to get a bit more robust in steep 3, with appreciable umami and chestnut notes emerging, so I upped the temperature in steep four and five to pull out as much of that as I could before the leaves were spent. Very good, and very glad I got this fresh. I’ll be drinking it frequently and sharing it with tea friends and family for sure!

Flavors: Chestnut, Smooth, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
4 g
tperez

Ooh man, I’ve got that one and some other fresh green tea coming in the mail; can’t wait!

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