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Shanti Tea Review: Mao Feng Grade A


Mao Feng is a well-known variety of tea hailing from Anhui Province, China. It is on the China Famous Teas list, a well-deserved spot. Mao Feng translates to Furry Peaks, the name itself implies a high quality leaf, Mao Feng is usually fuzzy with little hairs, an indicator of a top grade tea. There are several varieties of Mao Feng, Shanti Tea has the Huangshang Mao Feng green tea in stock now.

Our post is not complete without first a bit of folklore. The legend of Mao Feng begins with a young man and woman who are in love. A local landlord sees the young woman and wants her for himself. He seizes the young girl and makes her his concubine. She escapes and discovers that the landlord has killed her lover. She goes deep into the mountains and finds the body of her lover. She weeps until she becomes the rain and his body becomes a tea bush. That is why the area where this tea grows is cloudy and humid all year long.

Background information aside, Shanti Tea has brought in a small lot of an exquisite Grade A Mao Feng, we hope you will enjoy it. For this tasting we have chosen the gong fu method, which basically means we use more tea per water and shorter infusion times in order to get full bodied multiple infusions.

Quantity: 1 tbsp for 4 oz filtered water, 80°C

First infusion – 30 Seconds:
The liquor is a pale yellow with a green tint. The aroma is spectacular, sweet, floral, slightly vegetal and almost creamy. The flavours come through so similarly to the aroma, it is quite unique. The first sip provides a delicate taste, floral and the trademark notes of apricot coming through with a slightly vegetal aftertaste. The sweet floral and fruit notes are stronger than the faint vegetal notes, leaving you with a clean and well-balanced flavour. There is even a slight hint of creaminess on the palate. Excellent mouth feel and quite a surprising complexity for such a delicate tea. Interestingly the leaves have taken on a bright green hue, the dry leaf is such a deep and rich dark green.

Second infusion – 45 seconds:
Slightly darker infusion colour. The leaves have opened up much more on the second infusion. The vegetal taste is more present and now there is a slight astringency. The flavours from the first infusion of sweet floral are still present and the tea remains balanced. The infusion aroma is quite similar to the first infusion, but slightly stronger in all aspects. Aroma also has hints of a sweet wine. Very delicious again.

Third, fourth and fifth infusions – 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds:
The last three infusions are closer to the first infusion. It is more sweet in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. Quite a remarkable tea, the complexity is present until the last cup. The vegetal taste and aroma is less present with each infusion, but the sweetness remains. The tea is clean and bright for each infusion. By the fifth infusion it is clear that it should be the last, the flavour is still good but quite faint, and we certainly want to preserve the delicous flavours that the deliciate tea provides.

We recommend that you try a gong fu style infusion on your Mao Feng or other favourite teas! Please let us know how it turned out for you.