Mountain Forest Huangshan Maofeng

Green Tea 2021

A fine example of Huangshan Maofeng green tea made with leaves from a remote high altitude tea garden where the tea plants grow in a natural mountain forest environment. Made with an heirloom cultivar that yields a surprisingly deep and complex flavor even in such a delicate and ethereal early spring green tea.

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Tea Origin
She County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China

Tea Bush
Huangshan Daye Quntizhong (Yellow Mountain Large Leaf Heirloom Tea Bush)

Tea Master
Wang Fangsheng and Wang Huizhou

Harvest Time
Late April

Picking Standard
One bud, two leaves

This fine example of Huangshan Maofeng green tea was made with leaves sourced from a remote high altitude tea garden that is nearly inaccessible up on the very mountaintops. The tea plants grow in a natural forest environment among the other vegetation. The tea cultivar used to make Huangshan Maofeng is an heirloom or quntizhong seed grown variety that possesses great genetic diversity. This results in a surprisingly deep and complex flavor even in such a delicate and ethereal early spring green tea.

Huangshan Maofeng’s taste is very clean and smooth with a delicate sweetness and a fresh floral aroma. The tea leaves need to be kneaded very gently, only just enough to twist them into shape without breaking the fragile buds and young leaves of spring growth. The resulting natural leaf shape looks like it was just plucked from the bush.

Growing high mountain Huangshan Maofeng

Ordinarily, the harvest of Huangshan Maofeng tea in Anhui Province begins with the Qing Ming festival in the beginning of April. However, the garden that produces this Huangshan Maofeng lies very high in the mountains at 1,200 meters in altitude. Because of the climate difference, the plants put out buds about two weeks later than gardens further down the mountain.

Tea bushes in a sloping mountain meadow in a Huangshan high mountain tea garden, with tall trees in the background.
Some tea bushes scattered in a grassy meadow between the trees in a high mountain Huangshan tea garden.

The cooler cloudy and misty climate at these heights produces tea that is sweet and rich in antioxidants and amino acids. The plants themselves grow naturally, scattered on the steep mountain slopes. Though the few local residents check on the bushes and weed around them by hand in July and August, the bushes go largely untended through the winter and early spring, and no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides of any kind are ever used.

The Wang family tea factory

Rows of tea bushes for Huangshan Maofeng in front of the buildings of the tea factory.
Huangshan Maofeng tea factory and garden.

Just getting to the gardens and processing facilities high above Mulingzhou Village where this tea is produced is an achievement in itself. It takes a few hours’ drive out of Huangshan City to the end of the road and then a strenuous hike up the steep mountainside. Over the years, local residents have carved steps into the stone of the mountain to make the passage feasible. The hike alone is such an ordeal that during the tea harvest, the tea master and workers simply stay up on the mountaintop and live in the barracks next to the factory while they process the tea.

The Fangsheng Tea factory is both a feat of careful engineering and painstaking work. Nested into the steep mountainside, just below the mountain’s apex, are two buildings: a two-story factory and a smaller building holding a kitchen and a bunkhouse. They sit on a foundation built of stones. Everything that went into the factory had to be carried up the mountain by hand. The factory is such a far walk up the mountainside that a long cable line had to be installed to quickly transport tea down the mountain via cable car as soon as it is finished. It is quite an experience just to sit on the porch there and have a cup of tea.

The tea makers of Huangshan

Display tea inventor Wang Fang sheng sitting in front of a tray filled with several types of display tea.
Display tea inventor Wang Fangsheng sitting in front of a tray filled with several types of display tea that he designed.

Master tea maker Wang Fangsheng and his son Wang Huizhou are part of a long lineage of tea making that extends back generations. Wang Fangsheng is a famous expert in Chinese tea and also the original inventor of the wildly popular blooming display tea that opens like a flower when infused. Mr. Wang junior is a highly respected tea maker and inventor in his own right and represents the sixth generation of tea maker in the family.

A man in a bright, clean factory room wearing a white coat, standing next to a metal tray of withering Huangshan Maofeng green tea leaves, examining a handful of them.
Wang Huizhou checking withering Huangshan Maofeng high mountain green tea to monitor its moisture loss while withering.

The Wang family has been instrumental in nurturing and revitalizing the tea industry in the Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) area over the years. They have traveled extensively in She County to visit countryside tea farmers and share skilled knowledge of tea processing and garden management, which has raised the quality of tea locally produced as well as drastically increased farmer earnings. The Wang family has developed and maintained strong relationships with the tea farmers of Huangshan.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Mountain Forest Huangshan Maofeng brewing guidelines

Teaware: 12 oz. glass or porcelain pot
Amount: 2 Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 190°F filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 1 minute. The leaves are good for 3 infusions.