Huangshan Mao Feng Tea
Huangshan Maofeng Tea grows in the Huangshan Mountain region to the south of Taiping County and the north of She County, Anhui Province. Huangshan Mountain is a natural scenic spot with picturesque scenery. The mountain remains foggy all year long, and sometimes even the whole mountain is enveloped in clouds and mists. Through the clouds, the mountains penetrate and reveal different island-like peaks. Such scenery is called the "sea of clouds". Huangshan Mountain is also famous for its uniquely shaped pine trees, dangling in the air or running parallel with the ground. Its peaks are formed by strange and steep rocks.
As the clouds, pine trees and rocks form a mysterious scenic spot of Huangshan Mountain, Maofeng Tea (or Fur Peak Tea) also embodies an air of mystery. The Maofeng Tea gardens are located by Yungu Temple, Songgu Nunnery, Ciguang Pavilion and Hillside Temple at an altitude of 1200 meters. Up along the deep valleys between lofty hills, the slope can reach 30-50 degrees. The mountain enjoys a mild climate, a large amount of rainfall, thick and fertile soil, as well as short bursts of sunshine. With such favorable natural conditions, tea trees are always immersed in mists and dampness. Hence, tea buds grow exceptionally big and soft as leaves grow flat and thick. Even soaked for a long period, the tea leaves still produce rich flavors and purely sweet taste. That's what makes Maofeng Tea the best of its kind.
Legends of Huangshan Mao Feng Tea
According to legend, it was said that during the Ming Dynasty a young scholar fell and a beautiful women fell in. A local wealthy landowner saw the woman working in the fields and wanted her for himself. The land owner had much money and power and forced the girl's parents to make their daughter marry him. On the night before the wedding, the young woman escaped and snuck back to the house of the young scholar only to find that he had been killed by the landowner's cronies. She went to his grave and cried uncontrollably until she became the rain. The scholar's body became a tea tree. It is said that this is why the area where Huangshan Mao Feng Tea is grown is always moist and humid and that the tea trees are lush all year round.Huangshan Maofeng, which are graded according to their quality, entered the tea market of London, Paris and Southeast Asian countries as early as 1976, and became world famous. It was listed as National Famous Tea in the Tea Appraisal Meeting held in Changsha in 1982.
There's an old Chinese saying "famous mountains produce famous tea". Huangshan Mountain is one of China's famous mountains for producing great green teas and its Maofeng is certainly one of the best. It is one of China's Ten Famous Teas.
Huangshan Maofeng Tea's English translation is "Yellow Mountain Fur Peak" due to the small white hairs which cover the leaves and the shape of the processed leaves which resemble the peak of Huangshan Mountain. The best teas are picked in the early Spring before China's Qingming (Tomb-sweeping) Festival. When picking the tea, only the new tea buds and the leaf next to the bud are picked. It is said by local tea farmers that the leaves resemble orchid buds.
The special processing technique makes Maofeng a strong, yet very refreshing tea. The aroma of Maofeng is a pleasant reminiscence of fresh orchid bloom. Every sip of Huangshan Maofeng tea promises a sweet and refreshing memory.
In China’s history, Maofeng tea has not only served as a tribute to the emperors, but also to foreign guests on diplomatic occasions since 1949.
Huangshan Maofeng Tea was first produced in the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty, but Huangshan Tea has been universally well-known for 300 years. The production of Huangshan Tea involves complex procedures. The picking starts on Qingming (5th solar term) and ends on Lixia (7th solar term). The buds and fresh leaves should be sifted to ensure that no single old leaf or stalk remains and that the buds are similar in length. In the production phase, the heat should be adjusted according to the quality of leaves. The heat temperature should be under control from high to low gradually, and in the last step of drying should be well-managed, in case any stem or leaf turns red or the leaves are not evenly dried. When tea production seasons arrive, tea factories release tea fragrance that fills the air surrounding the area. As a tea of quality, Maofeng Tea leaves are curled and flat as if they were a sparrow tongue covered with silver fur. The tea looks crystal clear with an apricot yellow colour emerging and carries a lingering fragrance of magnolia.
There are many varieties of Maofeng Tea and many times people try to sell other Mao Feng Teas as Huangshan Mao Feng. It is actually not too difficult to tell the real from the fake. The real tea has a very long lasting fragrance and aroma with a slightly floral scent, while the others do not. The flavors of the tea should swirl around your mouth and delight the senses.