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)

6 comments:

parTea lady said...

Well, at least it's a good "Saturday night" song to have stuck in my head. This tea sounds interesting. Your description is great and I always learn something new. Thanks.

ChaChaneen said...

Good morning! Yeeees, yeeees I do remember that song, wow ~ makes me feel my 40 yrs at this moment. ha ha

Oh I wish I liked green tea but I just can't seem to. I guess I'm a black tea version kind of gal.

I enjoy your Saturday posts though, keep them coming!

Ginger said...

It's now been several hours since I first read the post and I still have that song stuck in my head. LOL There are worse songs I could be singing.

Sounds like a good tea, thanks for sharing.

Southern Touch Catering said...

Angela, you are too funny. My Honey & I both have it stuck in our heads-I had to share the post with him when he heard me laughing out loud.
Also, the tea does sound wonderful. As as note to Janeen- I use to have a huge dislike to green tea until I learned the proper way to steep it. I remember reading once NOT to "Cook" the green tea leaves. It really does make a difference.
Thanks for all your great info. You're going to be a Master before too long- I'm sure of it!

Mike Harney said...

Angela,

Now you are getting it!

Great vegetal flavors, and it should remind you of asparagus. I mention a vegetable or fruit, please try it and have that tea.

Brothy because it is a early season tea and loaded with amino acids that fill your mouth. The Japanese tea experts say that "brothy" describes their best gyokuros and senchas.

Keep it up,
Best Reagrds,

Michael Harney

Southern Touch Catering said...

OMG!!! Michael Harney mailed you!