Mao Jian has become one of my favourite green tea varieties over the last year or so, and I’m always pleased to try one that’s new to me. This Hunan Mao Jian from Harney and Sons looks pretty much as I’d expect – thin, wiry leaves that are a little curly and twisted, a fairly uniform dark green in colour, and pretty long (most around 2cm, but some more like 5-6cm). Dry, it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of scent. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.
Once brewed, more variegation in terms of colour is revealed. The wet leaves are a mixture of bright grass green at the tip and a darker kelly green towards the stalk. There are a few yellowish tinges, and the odd patch of brown. The scent is delightful, like freshly steamed green vegetables. Really fresh, vegetal teas like this one are what finally won me around in terms of green tea, and this is a perfect example. The liquor itself is a very pale green, with a mild vegetal scent.
To taste, this is beautifully sweet and delicate, and very reminiscent of freshly shelled peas. It’s a pretty mild flavour all told, but smooth and buttery with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. There’s a slightly stronger vegetal flavour in the mid-sip, reminiscent of green beans, but it doesn’t linger very long and it’s still very much at the mild end of the flavour spectrum. The aftertaste contains a hint of floral, although it’s not too perfume-like or overpowering. It reminds me a little of lillies. As it cools, I’m picking up an edge of sharpness that puts me in mind of lemon zest. It adds a savoury twist to an otherwise relatively sweet ensemble, and works well as a refreshing, clean tasting element of the overall flavour.
I’m enjoying this one for its fresh, sweet flavours, and ultimately clean, refreshing flavour. I actually think it’s a green tea I’d enjoy drinking most in summer, possibly cold brewed or iced. It’s good hot, too, and it’s really making me think of warmer days while I sit here in the middle of my centrally-heated winter. This is a really great green tea, and one of the most unique Mao Jian’s I’ve tried. Delicious!
Hi! I'm Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I've been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.
I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.
I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they're the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer -- their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.
I'm still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don't think they'll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don't hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm also beginning to explore pu'erh, both ripened and raw. That's my latest challenge!
I'm still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.