Xinyang Maojian has another name called Yu Maofeng. Yu is a shortened form of Henan Province. Maofeng is similar to Maojian. It is one of the famous specialties in Henan Province, with a unique style of “thin, round, light, fragrant, strong taste and green soup”.
Xinyang Maojian is known as the “King of green tea”. Its brand has been ranked second in the regional public brand value of tea in China for many years. The first is Pu-erh tea and the third is Biluochun tea.
Maojian is a subclass of green tea or yellow tea. In other words, there are different kinds of Maojian green teas and Maojian yellow teas. Xinyang Maojian is just one of the Maojian green teas.
1. History of Xinyang Maojian tea
The spread of tea is closely related to politics, economy, culture, transportation, and climate. During the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC), the political and economic center of China was in Henan Province. At that time, tea was spread to Henan Province and took root and developed in Xinyang area with ecological advantaged.
Modern archaeologists have discovered tea with a history of more than 2,300 years in the ancient tombs unearthed in Xinyang City.
During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), tea production began to flourish. Xinyang has become a famous “Huainan tea area”. Huainan means “the south of Huai River”. At that time, the teas Xinyang produced with high quality were designated as tribute tea (Gongcha) to send to the emperors or nobles.
During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the production of Xinyang tea began to decline gradually due to the excessive tax on tea.
At the end of the Qing Dynasty, influenced by the reform movement of 1898, some tea merchants began to raise money to cultivate tea gardens and grow tea trees. Later, tea production gradually revived.
The unique style of Xinyang Maojian was formed in the early 20th century. The tea farmers paid much attention to the improvement of production technology of Xinyang Maojian, which made Xinyang Maojian develop rapidly.
After the founding of New China, the state attached great importance to the development of tea production and adopted a series of supportive measures. Xinyang Maojian production got greater development, and its production area continued to expand.
2. Growth environment of Xinyang Maojian tea
The local tea farmers have always chosen to plant tea trees in a high mountain area with an altitude of 300-800 meters. The mountain is fluctuating, with dense forests, abundant vegetation and rainfall, diffuse clouds and humid air. The soil here is mostly yellow and black sandy loam, which id deep and loose, with more humus content.
This special natural environment is very conducive to the synthesis and accumulation of amino acid, caffeine and other nitrogen compounds in tea.
3. Characteristics of Xinyang Maojian tea
Xinyang Maojian tea has unique characteristics in color, fragrance, taste, and shape. Its color is fresh, clean and free of impurities. Its fragrance is elegant and fresh. Its taste is mellow and sweet.
From the appearance, it is bright green, shiny and covered with white hair. The shape is fine, round, smooth. Hight-quality Xinyang Maojian tea soup is light green or yellow-green, with a lasting fragrance. Low-quality Xinyang Maojian tea soup is dark green and turbid and its fragrance is not strong and lasting.
4. Varieties of Xinyang Maojian tea
According to the growing season of Xinyang Maojian, local people are used to classifying it into spring tea, summer tea, and autumn tea.
It refers to the tea that is picked before the end of May. The shoots, buds, and leaves of the tea trees are very new and tender at this time, so spring tea has the best quality among a year.
Ming Qian tea: the tea picked before the Qingming Festival (around April 5). Ming refers to the Qingming Festival. Qian means “before”. During this period, the buds of the tea tree are the most tender and the tea is made from 100% of buds. This kind of tea is the highest grade tea of Xinyang Maojian. It is suitable for high-spending people to drink.
Yu Qian tea: the tea picked before the Grain Rain (around April 20). The buds began to grow into a bud with a leaf. Although it is second only to the Ming Qian tea, its taste is slightly enhanced. It is also suitable for high-spending people to drink.
Spring Tail tea: the spring will be gone, the tea picked before the end of May. Compared with Ming Qian tea and Yu Qian tea, the shape of it is slightly worse, but its taste is mellow and the price is relatively cheap. Most of the ordinary tea that local people drink is spring tail tea.
It refers to the tea picked from June to July. As the temperature rises, the tea leaves grow rapidly. The soluble matters in the tea leaves reduce, and the bitter substances such as caffeine and anthocyanin increase. Therefore, summer tea tastes slightly bitter, and its aroma is not as strong as the spring tea, but its price is usually cheap.
It is picked after August. After spring and summer picking, material in newly grown leaves are relatively less, but its flavor and aroma are mellow and rich.
5. Health benefits of Xinyang Maojian tea
Xinyang Maojian tea is rich in protein, amino acids, alkaloids, tea polyphenols, sugar tips, organic acids, aromatic substances, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, K, P, PP, and water-soluble minerals.
Here are the main benefits of Xinyang Maojian tea:
- Improving eyesight
- Refreshing brain
- Promoting digestion
- Inhibiting atherosclerosis
- Preventing radioactive elements
- Relaxing blood vessels and promoting blood circulation