As the weather warms in southeastern China along the coast, some of the first teas to reach the market are the varietals commonly referred to as Mao Feng. These early greens come in a wide variety of styles – leaves colored light to dark green, long and short in length, curled and wiry, with white and silver buds and a range of aromas and flavors. This varietal, over time, depending where and how it is grown – north, south, east or west slope of the mountain – has over its many years of cultivation - developed a range of leaf appearances and flavors. In Fujian Province, there are numerous variations of the Mao Feng varietal. One of our favorites for aroma and taste is Spring Blossom (locally referred to as Spring Blossom Pekoe). A visual treat of wiry light-green, curled leaves splashed with white buds. Eye-catching, its aroma compels one to take a taste. Softly vegetal, Spring Blossom is an excellent value tea, drinkable most any time. Harvest date - early April 2018. Lot # 1-8.
Why we selected this lot. Spring Blossom has a very distinct “toasty” aroma note that we look for. This lot offered a consistent & larger leaf size with a high portion of white buds. The appearance is a very pleasing green, very fresh looking. The telling factor was the lightly “toasty” note in this tea. This deft processing tempered some of the stronger vegetal tendencies of many of the teas in the Mao Feng class. This lot offers a very pleasing sweet & clear liquor.
Interesting facts about our selection. Grown at an elevation of about 700 meters, small farm, this tea was harvested in the first week of April 2018 - a "before the rain" lot. Spring Blossom is a Mao Feng varietal, in this instance, it does not refer to the quality of the leaf. It is an early spring tea, generally out by the first week of April. It takes a higher basket fire and the result is a bit less vegetal flavor and its liquor is clear. Tea was grown near Fuzhou in Fujian Province.
Taste profile. Offers very pleasing nutty and vegetal notes to the palate, with hints of chestnut. The higher fire processing pushes this tea to a clean, toasty flavor and a sweet finish. Being a green tea, it has very light vegetal notes yet it has been pushed toward more sweet notes with little or no astringency. This tea goes very well with food.
Brewing suggestions. Use 3-4 grams or a rounded tablespoon of leaf for 8-12 ounces. Water temperature is best at 185-205 degrees F. Steep for two minutes to yield a flavorful cup. This tea can be steeped for a longer period if more body is desired. Will offer multiple steeps.