This tea is absolutely gorgeous in its dry leaf appearance but decidedly less impressive as a drink.
First, the good things: if someone wants to enjoy all of the visual richness of different colors, shapes and textures that green tea can offer this tea would be an excellent choice. The other good thing is that this Mao Feng, unlike many other greens, is way less happy to smite you with vengeful bitterness for any deviation from the rigidly prescribed water temperature or steeping time. In short, it lets you to experiment.
Now about the taste. I have to wholeheartedly agree with eastkyteaguy’s review of the 2017 harvest: “This was one of those teas that seemed a lot simpler than it was. Had I not taken the time to carefully and patiently ponder each sniff and sip, I undoubtedly would have gotten a lot less out of it. I found that this tea required focus and dedication in order to fully appreciate it.” Unfortunately I tend to drink tea mostly for pleasure and when I pour myself a cup I really DO NOT mentally go “Bluegreen, now you need to muster all of your patience, focus and dedication!”
And to a casual sipper like me this tea tastes very light, full with grass, wild flowers, asparagus and a bit of umami. If you steep it hotter/longer it acquires a bit of equally pleasant vegetal bitterness. In short – a pleasant light tea that does not overtly impress you or shows a lot of personality. When you focus on every sip it does reveal a lot more but I strongly prefer teas that are way less guarded, those that want to be your friends from the very first sip.
Flavors: Asparagus, Flowers, Grass, Umami