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Mao Feng Long March Green Tea
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Mao Feng Long March Green Tea
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Depending on whom you talk to, 1934 was either a terrible year, or a great year, to be in the Chinese Communist Army. That was the year Mai Zedong, in an effort to escape annihilation at the hands of the army of Chiang Kai-Shek embarked with his troops on an 8000 km, 370 day trek through the outer wilds of China. Without glossing over the hardships experienced by his men, suffice it to say that if you didn’t like walking, it was terrible, but on the other hand, if you didn’t want to die, it was great. The grueling march crossed mountains, rivers and endless grasslands and passed through countless hundreds of towns and villages. To make matters even more difficult, food for the soldiers was generally scarce.Like the Long March, depending on whom you talk to, Mao was either great or terrible. During the march however, he did institute a policy that became the inspiration for this tea. The policy was called the Eight Points of Attention, the spirit of which was for his soldiers not to harm the peasants in anyway, show them disrespect or steal their food, no matter how hungry and tired they grew. Years later, a Fujian tea producer who’s family had housed a garrison of Mao’s soldiers decided to honor Mao’s apparent thoughtfulness, naming his prized traditional Mao Feng tea after the Long March.Like everything else in the story, Mao’s rise to power was also arguably great or terrible. What is not arguable is the incredible quality and flavor of Long March Mao Feng. Mao Feng literally translated means Fur Peak owing to the mountainous region in which it is grown and the light fuzz that appears on the tea buds before they are picked. Interestingly, in keeping with the March theme, this tea is only plucked and produced during the month of March. As such, with its limited production, quality and nuance can change from year to year the way fine wines of different vintages display subtle shifts in character. Mao Feng Long March is an excellent example of the high quality traditional teas still being produced by the smaller niche producers of Fujian. Brew a pot today and raise a toast to the great…or terrible…revolution!
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