Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lanxi Mao Feng green tea

Green tea
Gently Stirred

Area of Origin: Lanxi City, Zhejiang Province, China.

I will remember this as my traveling tea. This Mao Feng went to California in a glass jar with a little tea ball. It's a green tea, but it has the light floral aspect I love in an oolong!

The dry leaf is a rich dark grayish green, so I expected a marine smell from it. But it presents a rich sweet smell that is almost on the floral side of grassy. The leaves look twisted. In a recent Facebook post, Nicole Martin of Tea for Me Please says oolongs didn't always look the way they do now. Maybe this green tea has similar processing to the pre-1990s oolongs?

The cup has a grassy smell and yellow-green color. Lingering, round aftertaste.

Mao Feng green tea is only plucked "within a specific forty-five day period that culminates with the Qingming Festival, also known as the Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day that falls on either the 4th or 5th of April, depending on the lunisolar calendar" (read more here).

I wonder, does that make the tea taste differently each year? Or, since the climate indicates calendar months, is this the perfect tea picking time ever? I will have to try multiple harvests to find out.

I'm enthralled by Tomb-Sweeping Day. I freelanced for a company in China for some time, who emailed to say offices would be closed for the holiday, so I felt part of it, from far away. The tomb-sweeping seems to be a springtime ritual, like a spiritually renewing spring cleaning.

While traveling I simply used a tea ball, and a mug brew, for two infusions at 2 minutes each. I shared it with my father using a small pot to boil water (a couple days later I bought him an actual kettle) and various mugs to use as share cups or temporary vessels to cool down the water.

I'm skeptical of tasting new green teas in anything but a gaiwan, but it worked out fine! Since then, I've also used the gaiwan for three infusions. I actually prefer the oversized tea ball, or mug brew, best.

A beautiful tea! I have another from Gently Stirred to try. Before then, though, I'll bring you a sturdy Ceylon loose tea from a box.

This tea was provided by Gently Stirred.

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