Xinyang maojian is a type of green tea from Henan Province in China. The tea plantations are scattered across the mountainous regions with an average altitude of 500 to 800 meters. Xinyang maojian has a shorter harvest than teas from Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian Provinces due to the cooler climate in Henan. Every winter, the mountains are covered by snow. Most of the plants have withered while Xinyang maojian tea trees firmly withstand the harsh weather, gaining it the reputation of one of China’s toughest teas
Xinyang Maojian tea is one of the most famous traditional teas, and also one of the most well-known local special products of Henan. Because of its narrow leaves with fine white hairs and sharp tips, it was named Maojian, literally meaning pale colored tips. The tea is characterized by its bright green, sweet, long lasting fragrance, which smells like cooked Chinese chestnut. The tea has been famous around the world for a long time. As early as 1915, it won an award as the champion in the Panama Pacific International Exposition. In 1959, it was named as one of the ten most famous teas in China. In 1982, 1986, and 1990, it was rated as the most famous tea in the country by the Commerce Department. In 1985, it won the silver prize of the National Quality Award. In 1990, it won the champion rank of the National Quality Award. And it won the champion rank in the Kunming International Horticultural Exposition in 1999.
Most tea producing regions in China are either located on the eastern coast (Zhejiang, Fujian, etc.) or in the country’s southwest (Sichuan, Yunnan, etc.). Central China isn’t usually considered as a tea growing ground. However, Xinyang Maojian (信阳毛尖), a green tea variety often mentioned as one of China’s “Ten Famous Teas” comes from central China’s Henan (河南) province.
Xinyang Maojian is a specialty of Henan Province, famous around the world for its "thinness, ball shape, brightness, straightness, furriness in white, fragrance, strong taste, and jade-green tea color".
Xinyang Maojian leaves are dried by parching them in a wok. Bar-shaped Maojian tea leaves are jade-green when they are dry; the steeped tea leaves produce pale green soup, emanating a subtle flavor of pekoe or ripe chestnut. Even after several infusions, Maojian tea's aroma is still present. Xinyang Maojian tea falls into several grades in decreasing order of quality: premium, first to fifth grade, and ordinary tea