When I look back upon some of the seasonal teas that Kilogram has had in years past one of my favorites was a Yunnan green tea that had a distinctive floral flavor. Unfortunately it only displayed that flavor once every few years, and most of the time it wasn’t a particularly special tea so we rarely carried it.
This year I was presented a sample of green tea that reminded me of that flavor. It is from the same garden where we procure our Yunnan black tea for our English Breakfast. It is called Mi Yun Lu, which translates to Honey Jade. It gets its name from the wildflower, honeyed aroma that reminds me so much of my favorite Yunnan green teas. This particular tea is made from a blend of heirloom Yunnan cultivars. It was slow grown at nearly 1100 masl, allowing it to slowly develop its unique flavors. The hong qing, or basket-fired baking process perfectly preserves the beautifully sweet aroma.
Honey Jade is a sweet, aromatic tea with notes of honeysuckle and lychee. There is a sweet green flavor which is really its only green tea characteristic. Like our Snow Buds, it displays a distinctive baked flavor that is easy to identify, but hard to describe. It is a medium-bodied tea with a slightly brisk character, but lower in astringency than one might expect from a green tea from southwest China.
Honey Jade Preparation is pretty straightforward. In a glass teapot, steep 6 or 7 grams of tea in 175°F water for 3-4 minutes. A good infusion will be light gold in color with a slightly refreshing astringency. This particular tea isn’t really suitable iced due to an amplified astringency when served cold.