Ming Qian Gong Mei (明前贡眉) is an early spring white tea sourced directly from one of the gardens of the Chen & Zhou family, located in Jinping Village, Zhenghe County of Fujian Province. It is picked from the plants of the local Zhenghe Da Bai cultivar plants that are about 40 years old and grown at an altitude of around 1,000 metres. This is a high grade version, featuring a good amount of silver tips and and slightly larger young leaves. The fine picking standard and careful processing results in a smooth, fruity taste with a sweet aftertaste. This particular batch was harvested on 31 March 2022.
We have recently partnered with a wife and husband team who represent Chen and Zhou tea master families respectively to bring their traditional teas to our shop. The family has gardens in Wuyi Shan and in Zhenghe County of Fujian Province, as well as having gardens in Guangdong Province. They specialise in producing hand crafted artisanal teas. Compared to larger gardens and factory productions, these are made in small batches and are still made according to traditional methods passed down the generations in their families. We have a small selection from the Chen & Zhou family gardens available already with more teas (including Wuyi Oolongs) coming soon! This Ming Qian Gong Mei is a high quality tea, but you might also be interested in trying their Ming Qian Bai Mu Dan white tea that is an earlier, more tippy harvest consisting of younger leaves and much more silver buds that delivers a more delicate and refined flavour.
Ming Qian Gong Mei consists of one bud plus the top two larger leaves of the plant. It has larger leaves but still featuring a good amount of silver buds, being carefully processed to retain the whole leaf appearance of the tea. Compared to the Bai Mu Dan counterpart, this tea delivers a more robust flavour. The large dry leaves have an appealing appearance and a vegetal, zesty aroma. It produces a light golden liquor with good clarity, brightness and an attractive aroma. The smooth taste has fruity, herbal and creamy notes. This Ming Qian Gong Mei features a sweet creamy mouthfeel and a lasting sweet aftertaste that make this tea easy to drink but also very attractive in flavour.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. It should be brewed multiple times depending on your taste preferences. As with all white teas, you can experiment with brewing times. Try either brewing this at a lower temperature (70°C) for 4-5 minutes or alternatively at 95°C for 60-90 seconds. Different brewing parameters produce quite different results so experimenting with the water temperature and steeping time is the best way of finding the brewing method that works best for you. Of course this tea works really well for gongfu or grandpa brewing methods.