Mengding Mountain Mao Feng is one of the most special China green teas that Tea Trekker will have in 2021!
Back again, after being one of the highlights of last year’s collection of exquisite spring green teas…
This is a very unique and special tea. It is one of the green teas that we are most excited about this season and we trust that you will be too. The overall taste sensation of this tea is mineral-stone, crisp & clean with an underlying layer of sweetness. It is a classic Western China green tea, although one does not often have the opportunity to taste this style of tea outside of western China. Mengding Mountain Mao Feng has a cool and bracing quality that affirms its high plateau origins – its magnificent terroir – and expresses the chilly early spring weather during which time the tea bushes on Mengding Mountain first flush with tender new buds (often in the snow!).
This pluck of 2021 new harvest Mengding Mountain Mao Feng was gathered in mid-April 2021, which puts it well into the Yu Qian harvest period, unusual for this region, because Sichuan Province warms early in most years. The weather in Sichuan has not been finicky at all this spring; however, the early leaf just did not have the concentration of flavor that we were hoping for, so we gambled on waiting a bit to try to find that ‘sweet spot’ of the harvest. This would be the point at which the mao feng pluck would still be young, tender, small and fresh, but would also exhibit some adolescent vigor and complexity.
This year’s harvest has a flavor that is well-concentrated, exceptionally fragrant (when steeped, as well as the dry leaf), is stunningly delicious and full of life. It has a very dry refreshing quality to it that is superb. The shape of this tea’s leaf is precise and quite even, because there was the perfect amount of moisture this spring to plump up the cell structure to the optimal size (like the perfect peapod!). The color of both the dry and re-hydrated leaf is outstanding – a green that is quite unusual and that could only be produced in a natural, plant-based material. In the ‘olive green’ family, it is very unique. This is one of the most beautiful of Chinese teas. Because this tea is so special, we will definitely sell out of it. We recommend not waiting too long to place your order. There is a very limited supply of this tea again this year.
Also, this tea is not particularly a ‘keeper’, so drink it up!
Please read our ‘Steeping Notes’ in the accordion information.
We have been able to hold the price at close to what it was last year) – this is very exciting given the world-wide demand for premium tea and the competition that we find ourselves in for special teas such as this.
Mengding Mountain teas are a glorious springtime phenomenon. Arguably most well-known for its Huang Ya (yellow tea) and the various types of ‘Bamboo Tips’, it is a venerable location in the history of cultivated tea.
Mengding Mountain tea production is small and the season begins early in the unusual micro-climate of Sichuan province.
Mengding Mountain is located on the Tibetan Plateau in NW Sichuan Province. It is considered by tea historians to be the birthplace of cultivated tea in China. Mengding Mountain is situated northwest of Mt Emei, one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism.
When we visited the Mengding Mountain tea gardens, temple, and tea factories one spring, there was fresh snow on many tea gardens from an overnight storm the night before (when we had arrived also). What an experience to walk past the garden’s scolding ‘guard’ monkeys (actually Tibetan Macaques) onto a famous tea mountain in the fog, the tea bushes covered in ice and snow! The temple supervisors lent us lead ‘crampons’, in order to navigate the treacherous paths that guided us past those gregarious (and hungry) monkeys to our destination: exquisite and well-hidden, lush tea gardens…dusted with a fresh snowfall. The Bamboo Tips and Mao Feng teas that we observed being manufactured later in the day (and the next day) were just a bonus at the time, because we were there to see the production of Huang Ya, but those 48 hours have, over the years, become an integral part of our early knowledge about tea terroir.
click here to read Mary Lou’s post from our first trip to Western China