Saturday, February 28, 2009
Tea Tasting Saturday #9 - Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Downy Tip)
Right about the time I was graduating from college, a British new wave band named Wang Chung was hitting the charts with a catchy little tune called "Everybody Have Fun Tonight." And what on earth does that have to do with tea tasting? Not a thing, except that the song's famous line "Everybody wang chung tonight" made me think "Everybody huangshan tonight." (And if, like me, you go around today with that song stuck on constant rotation in your head, I do apologize!)
Name of tea: Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Downy Tip)
Category: Green Tea
Purveyor: Harney & Sons
When purchased: January 2009
Dry leaf appearance: Long, elegant leaves of deep, deep olive green
Wet leaf appearance: Brighter green leaves that developed a fuller appearance
Steeping temperature and time: 1 level teaspoon of tea, 175 degrees, 3 minutes
Scent: Perhaps it's because we had steamed asparagus a few nights ago at dinner, but that's the first scent that came to mind!
Color: Palest green
Flavor: OK, you're going to think I'm weird(er), but this tea had *such* a rich taste, it reminded me of ... broth! I was sipping away and thinking how this was obviously just clear liquid, but it had a richness that made me think of the broth in chicken noodle soup. No chicken taste, mind you, just the fullness of the broth. I greatly enjoyed this tea!
Additional notes: Michael Harney in The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea says that while most of the Chinese green teas in his book are handmade teas, Huangshan is "one of the few made almost entirely by machines." He also notes that the handmade version of this tea is so rare, it has become a popular gift among businessmen. Interesting!
Next week's tea: Taiping Houkui (Taiping Best Monkey Tea)