The 2020 Snowflake Dawuye Maocha is probably the most raw and untamed dancong we carry. The term snowflake refers to the last harvest of the year, and as a result, the leaves have had a whole year to grow into themselves. These teas are often produced in the 'qingxiang' or 'bouquet' style, with a focus on aroma. Full of thick leaves and stems, this is the kind of tea that reminds you what tea truly is: dried leaves and water. The aroma, however is powerful, like fresh cut grass and something as sharp as cinnamon. While slightly less spicy than it’s Spring cousin, the fragrance of the 2020 Snowflake Dawuye Maocha carries over into the liquid brew. While the Spring harvest is about the mouthfeel, this Autumn harvest is all about the fragrance, which we believe the thick leaves and stems provide a uniquely vegetal taste profile to. This autumn harvest has a greater propensity toward bitterness, though can deliver a deeper huigan than its Spring cousin. The wet leaves retain a strong scent of baked bread.
We offer this tea as a maocha (or raw tea) as it is unsorted. During Dancong processing, the picked tea is processed, but not sorted by machine like many green teas are. Instead, after the first round of roasting, the tea is then sorted, and all the stems and larger leaves are taken out by hand. We acquired this tea before the sorting process, to not only save the farmer hours of meticulous work, but also to provide the opportunity to taste a raw tea, with stems, ugly leaves and all. We find maocha to be a refreshing change to the homogenized ‘finished’ teas, as it retains some funky flavors, mainly the woody tastes from the thick stems and unshaped leaves.