This tea is certified organic and produced to fair labor standards.
LONG KOU MAOFENG is an elevated take on the classic maofeng style. Maofeng ("hairy peak"—a reference to the downy buds that pervade this tea) is functionally a catch-all term for the many savory, slow-baked green teas originally hailing from the Huangshang mountains of Anhui province, where it's produced with a type of Da Ye ("big leaf") tea bush native to the region. 2019's lot comes to us from Guangxi, in China's deep south—our partner's semi-wild tea garden there turned out an especially fruity and tangy version using the original Da Ye varietal the southern Chinese tea zones are famous for.
Twiggy and twisted in appearance, LONG KOU MAOFENG is a Guangxi novelty. Teas of the Da Ye cultivar tend to be huge, especially so in the south. This translates to finished teas with enhanced durability and complexity of flavor. When our long-time farmer in Liuzhou (lauded for his prize-winning and labor-intensive jasmine teas) showed us his take on this style, we bought up the entire lot. At once tropical and sweet, the traditionally mild, savory tones of maofeng teas are foregone in favor of mouth-puckering notes of candied pineapple and citrus zest. Medium-bodied, bright, and with an almost imperceptible tone of char (owing to the old world drying methods of low-temp charcoal and wood roasting).
The unique character of LONG KOU MAOFENG makes it a strong foil to coffee menu standards that sometimes polarize or turn off shop-goers with bitter, too-vegetal flavors. Likewise, it's a world apart from the deeply green, umami-driven flavors of steamed Japanese teas. Prepare it with cooled, soft water for a sweet, hay-like experience, or (behind busy bars) for a shorter time with water straight from the tower for a more classic green tea profile. Mixes well with bright simples and seltzer.
notes — caramelized pineapple | pear | hay
nomenclature — mao (白)—"hairy" | feng (皓)—"peak"
style — dried & baked maofeng
plucking standard — mix of 1:1 and 1:2 (bud:leaf)
cultivar — da ye ("big leaf")
region — guangxi province
locale — long kou farm
producer — mingfu lei
vintage — spring 2019
(use freshly boiled mineral water)
(100 ml small vessel—yixing teapot, gaiwan)
3 grams—180°F (82°C)—10 seconds + 15 seconds each additional steep
2 grams—180°F (82°C)—3 minutes