It’s not like any Huang Shan Mao Feng I’ve tried before, but I’m going to support the claim that the tea came from “wild bushes”, since it tastes similar to the “wild” Fujian green tea I purchase from a trusted Hakka tea merchant on my trips to Beijing. The prominent aftertaste (huigan) and pure taste is also a good indicator of more natural cultivation techniques and mountain origins, albeit not organically certified.
It’s important to know that organic certifications are usually not affordable for small-share tea farmers in rural China who would prefer to avoid the extra costs of pesticides or fertilizers. What they often refer to as “wild” green tea is often from tea bushes that are “unkept or unmanaged” since they aren’t as high in demand in the Chinese or international market as popular teas such as Maojian or biluochun, which are usually farmed under conventional methods for higher yields and uniformity in appearance. The same is true in Japan.
Back to this tea :) The brewed leaves are a vivid green, something I don’t often encounter in Chinese teas. It’s quite fragrant and can yield more than 4 steeps. To me, the first rinse is too tasty to discard. It has a pure, simple, and yet elegant taste. Subsequent steeps reveal notes of crisp sweet peas, flowers, roasted brussels sprouts, and a faint sweet smokiness that grows on the drinker. The refreshing and subtly sweet aftertaste is what makes this tea a real bargain.