3, 2, 1---and the mountain was gone. A ball of mist swirled in a masking envelope. I looked on. This was the power of Huangshan or as English-speakers will better understand, Yellow Mountain.
And moments later, as if my murmurs had been heard, a single ray broke the swirl and the creamy jutting spires of stone dazzled. A natural muse, Hunagshan has served as the source of allure for countless traditional ink paintings and thousands of poems (20,000 to be exact, from the Tang to the Qing, 618-1912). Last counted in 2007, 15 million visited, but for more than just that.
Yes, GREEN TEA.
One of China's premier tea growing regions, Huangshan's mist rolls over the mountain peaks like a fluffy sea. Rendering the environment moist and artfully ideal for tea growing. Tucked deep into Anhui province, tea culture is life here.
Most notably, Mao Feng (meaning first fluffy, then mountain peaks) is the tea of Huangshan. Jade in color with a flowering aroma and taste, it's sitrringly delightful as a green tea with an almost-apricot taste. The total effect is a clean, refreshing and slightly sweet taste that seems to linger like that awkward guy at a party, except only one in this comparison is a problem. Noted for the coating layer of fur, the Mao Feng tea leaves are not fermented, but actually dried in the sun and then pan fried and rolled, preserving the natural flavor of the tea leaves when fresh.
If you go to glimpse the infamous Huangshan sunrise, don't forget, there is good tea waiting to wake you up.
As an ancient Chinese proverb goes:
"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one."