We are very excited about this new tea. WOW! This is definitely a world-class black tea in the style of many of the eastern China Wu Yi black teas that we have had in the recent dozen years – and most of those have been truly exceptional examples of a well-manufactured black tea. Honeysuckle Mingqian is as delicious to drink as it is beautiful to look at.
This elegant black tea, however, hails from Hunan Province, an historically-important province for both organic fruits & vegetables, and tea production, but one that many tea enthusiasts are not particularly familiar with. Here at Tea Trekker, we have had many fantastic teas from Hunan Province over the years, and this is the latest addition to that stellar group.
Honeysuckle MingQian black tea is both mellow and richly-smooth, complex in taste, and shows a flavorful deliciousness. It is named after the floral climber that is in bloom at the same time that this delicious tea leaf is plucked. It is a very complete tea with a striking flavor profile. We can’t emphasize enough the concentrated flavors and hearty richness that this tea has and that will treat your palate to a wonderful tea-drinking experience. This tea is a perfect example of a tea that needed a little ‘rest’ post manufacture, in order to mellow out and develop into the delicious tea that it now is.
Starting with the initial stone-fruit flavors that stimulate the front of the mouth, and then followed by the rich body that saturates the entirety of one’s palate, we have found that there is much to appreciate in the complexity of this tea. There is a slight woodsiness, a little of the intense ‘raisiny’ character of a delicious Keemun tea, and a full, lingering after-taste. The aroma is intriguing, with elements of cherries, or other fully-ripe drupes (stone fruit), plus a hint of dark toast.
Like many well-made premium Chinese black teas, this tea is whole leaf and smooth and soft on the palate. One can add milk or not, but to enjoy it as the Chinese would, it is best drunk plain.
Our Honeysuckle Mingqian black tea comes from a tea garden located near to the Zhang Jia Jie National Forest, known to millions as being the primary visual inspiration for the movie Avatar. Both are located within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Today this region is equally famous for being home to the world’s tallest lift (passenger elevator) and the world’s longest and highest pedestrian bridge.
The nearby Tianzi Shan main peak is known as The Son of Heaven Mountain and from its heights one can see four main natural scenes, depending on the season of the year: The Sea of Clouds; The Snow in Winter; Rays of Sunshine; and The Radiance of the Moonlight. Similar to the scenic depictions that we have observed on the HuangShan in central China, these viewpoints are the creations of rocks, firs, cliffs, valleys, and clouds & mist (combined with poetic and artistic license!). Stunning nevertheless and worth a detour if you happen to be visiting eastern China.