We went to one of the bigger markets in Emei City today to buy some chocolate for Sunee to take to Thailand. Once again, I was lusting after the selection of cute little Yixing teapots. They have tripled their selection since I was there last. Sunee was not interested so I browsed the tea section. It was then that I discovered the Mao Jian which we eventually bought. Got a 100 gram bag to try. This is what we found:
Emei Mao Jian does not look anything like the Zhuyeqing we have been drinking nor the Xue Ya we just discovered. The leaves are different sizes and have funny bits of hair on them. They are also dried differently. Both the Zuyeqing and the Xueya are uniform in appearance and maintain their tea leaf appearance. As you can see from this, the leaves are distorted, curled with no uniformity in either color or shape.
If you look closely, you can see the hair on the underside of each of the leaves. I guess that is the reason it is called Mao Jian, right?
Beautiful light green and orange color. A beautiful cup of tea. How does it taste? At first, it was totally different than the Zhuyeqing with a different taste and aroma. As I drank it, though, I got the distinct feeling that is did have an up front taste of slight bitterness and the familiar sweetness in the aftertaste. Very similar "feeling" that I had with the Xueya. All three green teas are great teas.
I cannot say enough good things about Emei Shan green teas. They are special. If I had to rank the four green teas we have had thus far, my favorite would have to be the Xueya. Wow, is it magnificent. Of course, the famous Zhuyeqing is close behind followed by the Mao Jian. The Emei Shan Mao Feng would then follow the Mao Jian. The Mao Feng, though, IMHO, does not so neatly fit in with the first three. It is a different taste altogether and if there is such a thing as a "family of teas" based on tastes, Mao Feng would probably be a cousin not a brother or sister.
The main difference in these four Emei green teas would have to be price. Zuyeqing and Xueya are relatively expensive. The least expensive is the Mao Feng. We tend to drink it as our daily tea because of its pricing and value. No doubt that after today, we will be drinking a lot of the newly discovered Mao Jian, which almost matches the pricing of the Mao Feng. Living in the shadow of Emei Shan does have its benefits.
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