Friday, March 12, 2010

Harney & Sons Tea Tasting: More Chinese Greens

Huangshan Mao Feng (back) and Taiping Houkui

Slowly and surely, I continue working my way through the Harney & Sons tea tasting guide. It's fun! Last weekend, I compared Huangshan Mao Feng (Yellow Mountain Downy Tip) with Taiping Houkui (Taiping Best Monkey Tea).


Closeup of Huangshan Mao Feng


Closeup of Taiping Houkui

The Taiping Houkui is a new tea to me. I find it very interesting. The tea leaves are long - some over two inches. Harney states that it's from a special cultivar of tea, prized for its long leaves. These are certainly the longest tea leaves I've seen. Also notice, in the image above, the hash marks on the leaves. This is an imprint from the canvas that the tea leaves are pressed between.

I brewed each tea at 175 degrees for two minutes. I didn't like the first brewing of either - very light. I brewed again at 3 minutes. Much more flavorful.


Huangshan Mao Feng, on the left, was light in color, aroma and flavor. I picked up a bit of sweetness. The Taiping Houkui was darker in color, aroma and flavor. It was quite vegetal, but pleasant. In my opinion, it's leaning more toward the Japanese greens in flavor.

11 comments:

Rosemary said...

Beautiful post - great photos, and beautiful tea leaves! For another comparison, may I suggest you increase the amount of leaf used with a subsequent brewing an compare that with your two different steeping times. Might produce an interesting result.
Nancy

Angela McRae said...

Enjoyed reading your tasting notes, and my word, those photos are magnificent!

Steph said...

Great idea, Nancy - thank you!

parTea lady said...

Thanks for the tea review and great photos. I really liked Taiping Houkui, but haven't tried Mao Feng yet.

Marilyn said...

What a fun exercise! Have you found some tea that have just jumped out and grabbed you, that you want to drink again and again?

Marlena said...

These sound good, I love your dishes and teapots. I mae the scones - yummy. Thanks for your posts

Ginger said...

Thanks for the review. I like your teapot and cups.

La Tea Dah said...

An interesting comparison and some great photos!

LaTeaDah

Gracious Hospitality

artandtea said...

Beautiful tea photos, Steph! I like your idea of comparing 2 teas side by side. Great post.

Jeen Dee said...

The teapots look exquisite. How long would be the recommended steeping time to turn it into a Decaffeinated Tea? If by any chance you over-steeped this, would the aroma have any noticeable difference?

januarygervais said...

Let me think of a few that I could use that on, Let me see, organic rooibos tea, organic white tea, and oh, organic oolong tea would also be great. I was thinking about blooming teas, but then I remembered you have to use a clear glass to enjoy viewing a blooming tea.