Mao Jian (Misty New Top)
Organic Green Tea 2017
Excellent aroma and complexity at an everyday-drinker price. Light mineral astringency gives way to a softer, almost creamy, character. This green tea retains flavor beautifully in a pint glass for casual sipping and thirst quenching throughout the day.
- Tea Origin
- Suizhou, Hubei Province
- Tea Bush
- Jiu Keng
- Tea Master
- Xiao Qinggui, Pei Zuowen, Fu zhongxue, Zhou Xianbo
- Harvest Time
- April 3rd – April 15th
- Picking Standard
- One bud and two leaves
The origin of this tea, Suizhou, is in northern Hubei province. This is an area famous for its long history in Chinese culture, civilization there beginning as early as 4500 years ago.
It is regarded as the legendary home of the mythical ancient ruler, Shennong, who, as stories tell us, is the first person to introduce the Chinese to tea. To this day Suizhou claims right to calling itself “Shennong’s hometown.” Lu Yu’s (733 – 804 AD) Cha Jing (the first book authored on tea) mentions that tea began with Shennong.
The myth of Shennong discovering tea, as some people retell it, follows: Shennong was chosen as a leader for his farming prowess and knowledge of herbs. Every day, he would spend time testing the effects of different herbs on his own body. On one particular day he was poisoned 72 times. As he lay dying from so much poison, a tealeaf fell into his mouth. He reflexively chewed it and discovered it purified his afflicted body. Tea was thus discovered by Shennong and introduced to his people as a healthful herb. This story has persisted in the modern culture of China where tea is still popularly regarded as detoxifying.
In Suizhou, with its long history of tea agriculture, tea permeates every area of life. The organic tea farm that produces Misty New Top was established in the Yunfeng Mountain area during the 1950s, however substantial farming did not begin until the 1980s and 1990s. Most of the plantings are Jiu Keng cultivar, an extremely popular cultivar used during this time. Jiu Keng is regarded as a hearty, cold resistant, and richly flavored. These tea bushes are grown in cloud-covered mountains at 700 meters above sea level. The natural shade of the clouds encourage development of sweet-tasting amino acids in the tea leaves while the tea bushes also benefit from the changing temperatures between day and night. Which stimulate the development of other secondary metabolites and introduce complexity into the tea.
The organic tea gardens of the producer use fermented rapeseed hulls and goat manure as fertilizer. For weeding, two things are used: goats are allowed to graze on the garden, followed by human manual weeding. For pest control, sticky paper and solar powered bug lights are the primary methods.
Tea pickers will organize to pick on days that are clear and without rain. Workers will head to the mountain very early, just as soon as they have enough light to see what they are plucking. Pickers will pluck to a standard of one bud and two leaves, return at lunchtime to eat, and then return to pluck again in the afternoon.
The recovered pluckings are withered on a bamboo tray to soften them from production. Once the tea is suitably withered it is quickly heated to de-enzyme it. This is accomplished for by an oven-like heating element. After this step, the tea is rolled and kneaded to tighten its shape. The basic shape of the tea is fixed at this point. Then, the tea is quickly roasted and once again rolled to refine its shape. Finally, complete drying is one with an oven-like drying machine. By the end, the residual moisture does not exceed a stable 5-6%.
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.
Mao Jian (Misty New Top) brewing guidelines
Teaware: 12 oz. glass or porcelain pot
Amount: 1 Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 180°F filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 1 ½ minutes. The leaves are good for 4 infusions.