Huangshan Maofeng Tea: One of the Top Ten Chinese Teas 中国十大名茶:黄山毛峰

Huangshan Maofeng Tea grows in the Huangshan Mountain region to the south of Taiping County and the north of She County, Anhui Province. Huangshan Mountain is a natural scenic spot with picturesque scenery. The mountain remains foggy all year long, and sometimes even the whole mountain is enveloped in clouds and mists. Through the clouds, the mountains penetrate and reveal different island-like peaks. Such scenery is called the "sea of clouds". Huangshan Mountain is also famous for its uniquely shaped pine trees, dangling in the air or running parallel with the ground. Its peaks are formed by strange and steep rocks.
As the clouds, pine trees and rocks form a mysterious scenic spot of Huangshan Mountain, Maofeng Tea (or Fur Peak Tea) also embodies an air of mystery. The Maofeng Tea gardens are located by Yungu Temple, Songgu Nunnery, Ciguang Pavilion and Hillside Temple at an altitude of 1200 meters. Up along the deep valleys between lofty hills, the slope can reach 30-50 degrees. The mountain enjoys a mild climate, a large amount of rainfall, thick and fertile soil, as well as short bursts of sunshine. With such favorable natural conditions, tea trees are always immersed in mists and dampness. Hence, tea buds grow exceptionally big and soft as leaves grow flat and thick. Even soaked for a long period, the tea leaves still produce rich flavors and purely sweet taste. That’s what makes Maofeng Tea the best of its kind.
Huangshan Maofeng Tea was first produced in the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty, but Huangshan Tea has been universally well-known for 300 years. The production of Huangshan Tea involves complex procedures. The picking starts on Qingming (5th solar term) and ends on Lixia (7th solar term). The buds and fresh leaves should be sifted to ensure that no single old leaf or stalk remains and that the buds are similar in length. In the production phase, the heat should be adjusted according to the quality of leaves. The heat temperature should be under control from high to low gradually, and in the last step of drying should be well-managed, in case any stem or leaf turns red or the leaves are not evenly dried. When tea production seasons arrive, tea factories release tea fragrance that fills the air surrounding the area. As a tea of quality, Maofeng Tea leaves are curled and flat as if they were a sparrow tongue covered with silver fur. The tea looks crystal clear with an apricot yellow colour emerging and carries a lingering fragrance of magnolia.

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