Miraculously, I still have a few teas from my 2013 TeaVana Forbidden Kingdom gift set that I haven’t touched on. Since today is the midway point of the month of August, 2015, I really ought to finish reviewing those before they become completely extinct. Thankfully, the only two i have yet to review are Monkey Picked Oolong (Ti Kuan Yin; which i cannot locate but fortunately can still be purchased) and Dragonwell (Lung Ching).
Huang Shan Mao Feng (黄山毛峰, or Yellow Mountain Fur Peak if you prefer) is one of the most famous teas from China. It often brews to a delicate Green with an exceptional astringency.
As I’ve done in the past, I’d like to offer TeaVana’s always highly amusing promotional write up on this tea from the inside lid of the gift set. ;)
Treasured for almost 1,200 years, this top-grade tea is known by the small white hairs which cover each bud. Named after the famous ‘Yellow Mountain’ peak, the young tender buds and leaves are grown at 4,500 ft above sea level in an area covered in mist for 2/3rds of the year. Long and narrow green leaves are picked and hand-twisted within the same day, forming a shape resembling the famed mountain. They brew to an emerald green liqueur with a light, elegant aroma and smooth lingering sweetness.
Despite their recommendation of 175, I would recommend you infuse TeaVana’s Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve at around 195. Delicate Chinese Green teas usually do well at 175, but sometimes not. In aroma, Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve to many Chinese Greens: a crisp “lilypad” or dewy high-chlorophyllic vegetal scent. In flavor, a buttery, soft Green with more Tip than I can spot in the physical leaf (Mao Feng is traditionally a bud and one leaf set, but in this case I found Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve to be mostly a bud and two leaf set.) Texture-wise, Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve does have a small but noticeable furry tea grit and the way I’m burping up a storm I can tell it has a decent amount of well-controlled astringency. I noticed that Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve also tends to consistently half-unfurl at both lower and higher temperatures (meh).
- Aroma – 91
- Taste – 91
- Texture – 90
- Spunk – 90
- Price – 95
- Availability – 98
- Appearance – 91
Mean score – 92% If you’d like to drink a Chinese Green tea for health, but can’t stand the astringency, I’d recommend TeaVana’s Huang Shan Mao Feng Reserve. Of course… that’s assuming you can find an extant cup of it. It’s been discontinued for awhile now.