Welcome to the first edition of Mao Feng Monday.
Every Monday for the next few weeks I will be traveling to a Huang Shan Mao Feng producing region. The goal is to document the many intricacies of Mao Feng picking, making, and evaluating.
The first Monday I went to Hou Gu 猴谷, which is next to Tang Kou 汤口. These areas are in the core region of Huang Shan, at the highest elevation, and produce the best Huang Shan Mao Fengs.
I had been to this area once before in the winter when the tea was not picking. This trip when I went back, I was going to visit a friend I had made last time and to see if they had begun picking. On my way up the road I saw a few tea plants. The buds looked to be a good size, but just a little to small to pick. A woman I met on the road confirmed this and said they wouldnt start picking for about four days.
I reached the house of my recently made friend and upon walking up the stairs I was surprised to how dirty it was. There was trash everywhere. I would later learned this was due to a few monkeys who had come and trashed the place.
The field behind the house is wonderful. A steep plot of land where tea trees are mixed with many other plants such as flowers and trees. I met a man who said he hand makes the tea from those bushes and he confirmed that the tea wouldnt be picked for a few days.
On my way back I went across the river to a larger piece of land I had seen on the way up. This was one of the most biodiverse tea fields I had ever seen. From across the river you could barely see the tea plants mixed in with the other plants. A steep slope was home to tea, trees, flowers, bushes, and a few plants I couldnt recognize.
The tea garden seemed to be overrun and a little abondoned, maybe due to the fact that the wooden bridge you had to climb to get to it was falling apart and crossing it was a walk of faith.
SInce I shot this video the tea in this area has started picking. I plan to go back to this area this week and film the picking and making of Hou Gu Huang Shan Mao Feng 猴谷黄山毛峰