Mao Feng Green is a truly outstanding tea from a region rich in tea-making lore and history.
Mao Feng, one of the rarer and finer grades of Keemun, is a famous black tea, and this Green version is its even rarer cousin. But first, a story…
Once upon a time there was a young couple very much in love. One day, the local mandarin stole the girl away to be his concubine. She managed to escape, but, in his fury, the mandarin had the young man killed. Finding his body in a cave in the mountain, she fell down and wept in utter despair. The mountain goddess took pity on her, and transformed the young man into a tea bush, and the girl, as she wept, became raindrops and mist. And so, to this day, the mountainous county of Qimen is blessed with abundant rains and mists, as the girl’s tears gently caress and support the vigorous local tea bushes to produce some of the finest teas in China.
Until 1875, Qimen, in the South of Anhui Province, produced only green teas. But then, a young man called She Ganchen was dismissed from his job as a junior mandarin in Fujian. Desperate to find a way back into his father’s favour, he conceived the idea that black teas could be produced in Qimen for the British market. The experiment was a success beyond his wildest dreams, and Keemun became famous for its remarkable black teas, unique for the presence of the essential oil of myrcenal, which produces an exceptional sweetness. Mao Feng is one of the rarest and best grades of Keemun tea.
Now the wheel has turned full circle. A very small amount of Keemun Mao Feng tea is produced using Green tea methods to create a bright, clean, chestnut-scented tea not unlike some of the lighter Darjeeling green teas.
The leaf is in the shape of largish “needles”, characterised as “bird tongue”, and very uniform. The colour is a deep emerald green and it produces a pale yellow liquor. The flavour is light and faintly sweet with a warm chestnut richness to it. This is a soothing, refreshing tea ideal for drinking at any time, particularly after a meal.