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Chinese Maojian Green Tea


Maojian tea (also known as Xin Yang Mao Jian) is a type of premium green tea plucked, processed and manufactured in Xinyang county in Henan, China. It is one of the finest tea in China. The Maojian leaves are slightly dark-green in color, have delicate but straight edges, are thin and look firmly rolled with pointed ends. They are normally about 0.5 to 1 inches long. Unlike the other green tea, they have relatively smaller leaves. Brewed Maojian is commonly known for its aromatic scent and a uniquely bold and soothing flavor. 

The history of Maojian green tea


Though it is unclear when and who discovered Maojian, evidence found in a tomb at Gushi county of Xinyang in 1987 suggested that this tea variety dates back to about 2300 years ago. Verbal history can only trace it back to the early 19th century with intense consumption in the beginning of the 20th century. Since the 1900s Maojian has been among the 10 best teas produced and drank in China. In fact, the Maojian history has it that between 1900 and 1920, there were 8 well-known tea shops in China that traded in Maojian among the other tea varieties

Most of these shops are said to have disappeared within the century and the Longtan Tea, which survived, is said to have given birth to the group of companies presently known as the Henan Xinyang Maojian group. In 1914, it is recorded that the tea shops, Longtan included, won a Gold Medal in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition that happened in 1915 after they sent their teas for the exposition. Over the years, through improved farming and production techniques, Maojian has gathered more recognition all over China and the neighboring countries.

Health benefits to drink Mao Jian green tea

maojiao green tea brewing

There are several benefits of the Maojian. First, it has a high level of phenolic content (especially the catechins) that have been scientifically proven to help in reducing the body fat. This substance also lowers the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body that is known to elevate the risks of heart diseases. This tea variety is also good for stabilizing blood pressure. The phenolic content is common among most of the green tea varieties.

Secondly, several studies have proven that consumption of green tea reduces chances of cancer by a significant percentage. Moreover, other studies found that the Mao Jian do have preventive effects against coronary heart diseases and atherosclerosis. And like any other green tea, Maojian has a good level of antioxidants. This means that the general immunity in the body is boosted and the effects of aging are also suppressed.

The Xinyang Mao Jian is also known for its relaxing and soothing effects. With this, you could ease yourself after the day's activities. In fact, the traditional drinking of the Mao Jian was done in the evening as a means of easing off. Its level of vitamins and antioxidants are also essential for a healthy skin.

Choosing the right quality

maijian green tea

Typically, the Maojian tea leaves should be bright green with a distinct pleasant aroma. It is normally the newest and fresh buds or leaves that are picked for preparation. The tips of the dried leaves should be clearly visible and well defined. You should keep off those that look dull or black green with no tips. It will affect the aroma and give a bitter or cloudy taste, which is not really an acceptable quality of a drink.

How to steep Mao Jian green tea

While steeping this green tea, there are three things to check - the temperature of the water, the steeping time, and the amount compared to water. Now to do this, take your preferred amount of water and heat to about 185F. Pour the warm water over the loose Mao Jian tea and allow it to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. On average, you can use 3 to 4 tablespoons (approximately 8 grams) of the Maojian tea for every 500ml of water. You can brew the tea 3 to 5 times. Remember to use lower water temperature since high temperatures may lead to over-steeping which may result in unpleasant taste or bitterness in the tea.

How Maojian green tea is made and stored

storage of maojian green tea

As mentioned above, green tea is made from the newest and fresh buds and leaves. A careful picking is done since the Maojian need to be fine if the quality is to be kept. These tea leaves are then allowed to dry and shaped into the normal end-pointed shape. The most important thing here is that since this is a type of green tea, it is not oxidized like the other tea varieties such as Oolong or the black tea. With time, the Maojian leaves will be exposed to oxygen hence get oxidized gradually. And this is how it loses value. 

A good storage is paramount for every green tea. This is because they are known to lose their freshness faster if not placed in the right conditions. This is just the case with the Maojian green tea. First, it is important to keep these leaves away from strong odor as they can trap the smell. The trapped odor will obviously tamper with the original aromatic flavor thus losing quality. Also, if not stored well, it can by itself develop some pungent rough smell. 

To maintain the Xing Yang Mao Jian green tea at the best quality and freshness, it should be stored in a cool and dry place free from any moisture or humidity and smell. Humid conditions will make the tea content to sip off slowly and can even lead to an unpleasant smell. It is also expected that if humidity is allowed overtime, the general quality depreciates rapidly and faster than normal. The container should also be airtight to prevent air from getting in. Air hastens its depreciation in value.

Is the Xinyang Maojian green tea very popular?

Considering its rich history among the Chinese people, Xinyang Maojian is very popular locally and still garner a considerable level of popularity internationally. Earlier, in the 20th century, the Maojian green tea held a resolute first position in the popularity rank in several parts of China. Later on, the advancements of the other tea varieties gave it some competition but it still has relative command in the people's drinks.

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