My first encounter with Xinyang Maojian was not satisfying. Given this tea’s reputation and history, I thought I’d give it a second chance. This time a sourced the tea directly from Henan. It comes from Dongjiahe District in Xinyang.
In comparison with my previous experience, I thought I enjoyed this tea better. This does not necessarily mean that the tea was better this time. When I first steeped the tea, the bitterness was slightly unpleasant. When I removed some of the tea I was brewing and decreased the steeping time, I got a better result. The taste started mellow and subtly sweet but with a pungent finish. Some floral undernotes was just there, but the dominant note was vegetables – not grassy.
Interestingly, Henan is one of the northernmost tea-production areas (apart from Shandong (from where I also reviewed a green tea earlier), I think it must be the second in line. This, according to my sourcebook, has an impact on the flavour of the tea by making it more robust. Actually, I think this Maojian did have a medium-body to it as much as green tea can have.
Before I finish reviewing the last green tea in this 365 teas challenge, I will tell you one more trivium. In April 2006, an action was held at the Xinyang Tea Festival, and a pack of 100 g premium Xinyang Maojian named ‘Lantian Yuye’ was sold for 149,000 yuan which was (with 2006 conversion rate) around 19,000 USD. If I simplify further, it makes 189 USD per g. Oh boy!
Source: Hong Li, Tea and Tea Set, China Intercontinental press, World Culture Books
Origin: Dongjiahe District, Xinyang, Henan
Harvest time: April 2020
Leaf colour: Tones of green with white fuzz
Liquor colour: Cloudy (due to the amount of fuzz) and bright yellow
Tea Aroma: Vegetal and slightly floral
Tea Taste: Mellow and dlightly sweet with vegetal and floral notes and a pungent finish
Steeping: Place 3-4g in 100ml of water at 85ºC and rinse after 5 seconds. Steep for 5 seconds during the first infusion,and add 5 seconds to the subsequent infusions. You can re-steep this tea about four times.
Shelf life: 18 months