May 11, 2013

drinking two Huang Shan Mao Feng

Before the start, I would like to salute to Malaysian friends with these 2006 shu and sheng cakes made per special order of Malaysian Puerh Association.

I've been living in my small world and didn't know much about what was going on in Malaysia. But I have a facebook friend who is Chinese Malaysian American and updated me a lot about the recent Election in Malaysia. It was quite amazing!


These are two Huang Shan Mao Feng that I have every year since 2010. Huang Shan Mao Feng is one of my favorite green teas (probably top 3, and Long Jing is not even in the top 3...) It's hard for me to pick just a few of "favorite green tea". Similarly, it's hard to pick up just a few of "favorite" Huang Shan Mao Feng producers. There are actually many that I like. But these two, I think, are most unique in style and from quite unique places. I've explained about them here and here.

This is pretty much a casual tasting rather than "evaluation" tasting. I love them both and hence can't really evaluate them objectively.

The one on the left is the semi-wild Huang Shan Mao Feng (which I happened to take from the very bottom of a pack so there are more broken leaves than usual), and the one on the right is the 1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng. 



Overall, the semi-wild Mao Feng has higher bud/leaf ratio than the 1400m Mao Feng, while there are are fewer broken leaves in the 1400m Mao Feng. The amount of broken leaves is partially due to that I reached the bottom of a pack for the semi-wild. Besides, the semi-wild Mao Feng must be carried from its remote site back to the factory for processing, unlike the 1400m Mao Feng, which is carried from a site near the village (the near distance is still by the standards of locals who have very strong legs) back to the village for processing.

In terms of taste and aroma, I feel the 1400m Mao Feng is more "typical" Mao Feng taste, with a subtle floral aroma to begin with, and with very smooth tea liqour. The semi-wild Mao Feng has a quite "interesting" taste, with some edemame flavor and more prominent sweet aftertaste than most green teas.

I didn't take dry leaf photos this year - but they are quite consistent from year to year. If comparing the dry leaf photos from the above-mentioned earlier blog posts, we could see the semi-wild Mao Feng has more bud, and the pan-frying is not as heavy as the 1400m Mao Feng. It's still traditional heavy kill-green process. But naturally they shouldn't be pan-fried as hard as larger leaves.

In contrast, the pan-frying of the 1400m Mao Feng is quite heavy that we could easily see the "blisters" on the rim of the leaves.

Semi-wild Mao Feng (it has some blisters too)

1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng (a lot of "blisters")

"Blister" is something quite interesting, and I plan to create a blog post with a series of photos of tea leaf "blisters". It's commonly seen on traditional green tea genres and sometimes is used to judge if a tea is manually made. But the "blisters" on some teas (such as Long Jing) are much more subtle than some heavily "blistered" green teas (such as Huang Shan Mao Feng and Lu Shan Yun Wu). Between these two Huang Shan Mao Feng, I think the "blister" is an interesting contrast and somewhat reflect the different styles of these two teas.

Some updates: Mr. Wang's village finally got the road built. My feelings about it are complicated. But I know it's good for them. Mr. Wang is thrilled about driving a car to visit his parents instead of walking for 8km in the mountain.

1 comment:

Mark Ballou said...

I find the stories behind these teas fascinating!