Saturday, April 18, 2009

REVIEW: Narien Teas Zhejiang Mao Feng

Narien Teas Zhejiang Mao Feng

It's a very delicate tea with a long finish that lingers in the mouth long after the last drop has been drunk.

Today I'm drinking a green tea from the Zhejian region of China, Narien Tea's Zhejiang Mao Feng.

The words, mao feng, translate to mean, "two leaves and a bud." This means this tea is the tender new growth of the tea plant.

In Zhejiang, the mountain mists help protect the tea leaves from direct sunlight (at least, part of the time), which makes the teas even more tender. I understand that some Japanese tea growers, who don't have such high and misty mountains, will try to artificially produce the same result by covering the tea plants under canopies, allowing them to only receive indirect light.

Brought water just to boiling then cooled to 70C. 2 teaspoons of tea per cup of water.

The dry leaves smell very green and fresh, with a citrusy overtone. The leaves range from a spring green, to gray, to forest green, with tightly wound leaves. I am willing to bet the leaves will be very fragrant after steeping.... And they are! The leaves unfurled to be a more evenly olive color. Wonderfully fragrant! They should package this scent as a perfume.

The tea is a pale golden color, like straw. Drunk hot, the tea tastes exactly as it smells. It's slightly dry in the mouth, with a very slightly sweet taste and almost bitter citrus overtone. My wife does not think it tastes at all citrusy, but rather green.

Drunk at a rather cooler temperature, the second cup of tea loses a lot of its flavor, though maintaining a bit of a straw and grassy flavor, with somewhat floral overtones developing in the more bitter finish. It's better to carefully maintain the tea's temperature.

This tea's flavor is carried largely in its vibrant aroma, and is full of contrasts: bitter and sweet, dry and floral, green and citrus. It's a very delicate tea with a long finish that lingers in the mouth long after the last drop has been drunk.

PLEASE NOTE: At this steeping, the Narien Teas corporate Web site is unavailable, so I could not depend on them for instructions on preparation or background on the tea.

UPDATE: The Narien Teas Web site is now back up, and the link to buy this tea can be found here: