The “Banished Immortal,” one of the most famous poets in Tang Dynasty known as Li Bai, once wrote of China’s loveliest mountain (translation by Dongbo):
Cinnabar crags crush granite pillars,
Lotus and golden hibiscus blosoms.
Once I scaled her towering summit,
Below spied Tianmushan's pines.
Traces still remain of Sylphs
who refined jade there
sprouted wings and flew off.
Today, this mountain is known as Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain, and for well over a millennium, it has been a towering inspiration to poets, painters, and philosophers.
So what is it about Huangshan that has been so appealing?
Located in Anhui Province, Huangshan is one of the most majestic places on the planet. Punctuated by granite peaks that seem to pierce the heavens themselves and bathed in a perpetual sea of clouds, the area is known for its rich biodiversity and dramatic landscapes.
It is precisely these landscapes—filled with breathtaking waterfalls, peculiar rock formations, and gnarly pine trees—that gave rise to the legend that one could find the secret to immortality on Yellow Mountain.
And it is these landscapes that motivated an entire genre of Chinese literature and art known as shan shui, or mountain—water, challenging the most gifted artists to emulate the flowing, mystical spirit of the natural world found on Huangshan.
These landscapes are also home to one of China’s most famous teas: Huangshan Mao Feng green tea.
Grown at 1200m on the north side of Huangshan, we like to think that this green tea has inherited some of the same ineffable qualities that make Yellow Mountain as inspiring as it is, inviting even the most seasoned tea drinker to a calming, reflective state as if one were looking out at the vast country below Huangshan itself.
And in fact, Mao Feng literally translates to Fur Peak, a typical name for classic leaf style of Chinese tea. Consisting of just one bud, the highest quality Mao Feng green tea will have fine, silvery down hairs covering it, with a small tender leaf called “Yu Ye”.
While there are many varieties and techniques used to produce Huangshan Mao Feng today, we were intent on sourcing the highest quality that we could find, and so for that reason, we elected to source a pre-Ming Mao Feng that was hand-crafted using the traditional techniques that have been practiced for more than 100 years.
The end result is a magnificent green tea, boasting a natural sweetness that lingers on the palate long afterwards. Defined predominantly by floral overtones, as is characteristic of good Mao Feng green tea, this year’s harvest has proven to be a particularly delightful surprise that we are proud to share with you.