Few weeks ago I received a pack of mao cha samples from Jacqueline. Thanks again! She obtained them on last Tea Expo held in May or so – the sample pack contains five different mao cha samples from different mountains.
To prepare myself for tasting them I drunk today two years old mao cha from higher regions of Bulang mountain range, from remote tea plantations in Lao Ban Zhang. This mao cha was acquired by Guang as a special order from San Ho Tang tea factory.
This tea is supposed to come from hundreds years old tea trees and the leaves look so. They are long and whole, many of them in two leafs one bud system. Unfortunately, many of the tea leaves broke while they got to me, because of their delicate shape, but there are still plenty of them too long to fit even into my tallest teapot.
I had to soften the tea leaves with hot water, just like the spaghetti, before I was able to put the lid on the pot.
The mao cha brew strong and thick soup – in second and third infusion I encountered an expressive smoky aroma, yet the rest of the infusions were very satisfactory. The tea reminded me the 2008 Pu Zhen Yuan Cha, with its strong character, nearly creamy aftertaste and bold spirit.
Spent leaves are characterized by strong and high veins suggesting the wild ancestry of mao cha. If the 2006 Xi Zhi Hao Lao Ban Zhang (Yin and Yan) beengs are made of same material, their price of $145 could be acceptable.