Monday, July 25, 2016

Xinyang Maojian Green Tea from Chayotea.com

Today I have a green tea that Robert James Coons of Chayo Tea/Daoist Meditation picked up during his most recent trip to Asia.  This is Xinyang Maojian green tea from Henan province of China.  Although this tea often appears on lists of “famous Chinese teas,” this is actually the first time I have heard of it, so it is unique to me. Chayo sold this tea as part of a special "Teas of Summer" sale (which is still available at the time of writing this).

Chayo Tea - Spring 2016 Xinyang Maojian green tea
The dry leaf is very thin wispy strands of small leaves and the dry leaf aroma is very intense and unlike any other green tea I have encountered.  It almost reminds me of the freshly processed Fujian black tea from the White2Tea club a couple months ago, as I’m noticing a hint of smoke, like BBQ smoke almost, and it’s quite good.  Robert said that this tea is pretty strong and that a little bit goes a long way, so I have measured out 3g to use in a 120ml gaiwan.  Water temperature is 175F, and first infusion is around 30-40s.

Chayo Tea - Spring 2016 Xinyang Maojian green tea
The wet leaf aroma is just as amazing as the dry leaf aroma and makes it obvious how fresh this tea is.  The smoky note is still present, but the green tea umami characteristics also come out.

The flavor is a bit more complex than the aroma.  Intense green tea floral notes balance out the smokiness on top of a base of sweet creamy cashew nuts.  Perhaps the most impressive feature of this tea though is the wonderful intense floral aftertaste and how long it seems to linger after each sip.  

Chayo Tea - Spring 2016 Xinyang Maojian green tea
I don’t often pick up on some of the body-response properties of teas, but Robert mentioned that this is a good tea to drink in the summer, and I definitely did notice a cooling effect of this tea.

In addition to 25g of the Xinyang Maojian green tea, the "Teas of Summer" package also included three Da Song Chrysanthemum flowers. These Chrysanthemums were grown in Kaifeng, also in Henan, China which is an area with a long history of growing Chrysanthemum flowers, especially during the Song dynasty. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaifeng#Chrysanthemums)


Da Song Chrysanthemum from Kaifeng, Henan, China.
These flowers are quite nice looking and preserved whole and carefully packaged in individual plastic trays to protect them during transport. I brewed the Chrysanthemum in a glass teapot so I could hold it up to the light and look through the bottom of the glass to see the beautiful flower suspended in the water.


Da Song Chrysanthemum from Kaifeng, Henan, China.
The Da Song Chrysanthemum liquor is a pale yellow, similar to the Xinyang Maojin green tea liquor. The flavor is much more gentle than some other Chrysanthemums I have had before-- the taste of some types of Chrysanthemums sometimes reminds me of plastic, but thankfully this one did not have that characteristic. It has a slight peppery/spicy note to it, but balanced with a really nice floral sweetness.


Da Song Chrysanthemum from Kaifeng, Henan, China.

I am very pleased with this "Teas of Summer" set that Robert brought back from Henan, China. At $12, which includes shipping, the quality to price ratio is pretty high and makes this one of my favorite spring tea purchases of this year.

Link to Chayo Tea/Daoist Meditation: http://daoistmeditation.com/shop/
Link to "Teas of Summer" - http://daoistmeditation.com/product/teas-of-summer-sale-mao-jian-and-great-song-dynasty-chrystanthemum/

1 comment: