• HOME >
  • How to choose quality tea

tea plucking in Yunnan, North West
Qian Long Jing. In Chinese, Ming Qian means before Qing Ming (清明節, 4th of April). Although less people know, the word “Ming Qian” is also used for Pu-erh tea. Some people would think Ming Qian should not be associated with Pu-erh tea. In a way, it is YES but No. Regardless of whether the Ming Qian tea is meaningful depends on the tea area in Yunnan.


Ming Qian tea is less meaningful in Xishuanbanna

Yunnan province is very vast; its area is even bigger than Japan. In Xishuangbanna, the south Yunnan, the weather is sub-tropical climate, while in Lincang or Baoshan, the North West Yunnan, the weather is colder. In Xishuangbanna, due to the warm weather, tea-plucking began as early as February; sometimes it starts even in January. In Xishuangbanna, so-called Ming Qian tea is meaningless, because the tea-plucking period lasts for 2 to 3 months’ time before Qing Ming. In other words, Ming Qian tea from Xishuangbanna does not mean it is the first-plucked tea in spring. When I visited Xishuangbanna area in the beginning of April, most of the spring tea season is over. In many areas, the tea trees have entered a period of dormancy.

Jing Mai

Jing Mai is sub-tropical climate. The temperature and humidity is quite high thought a year. The tree in the forest is very green and tall.

Bu Lang lady walking to the tea garden

Bu Lang lady and kid


Ming Qian tea is very precious and limited in Lincang

On the contrary, in Lincang, Baoshan or Dali, the weather is very cold. Many tea gardens are located at about 2000m a.s.l. In these areas, tea plucking only starts around 20th of March. It is only two weeks’ time before Qing Ming. Usually, Ming Qian refers to the first-plucked tea, and it is rich in taste and full-body. In Lincang area, manufacturer and farmer cherish the tea plucked before Qing Ming. Usually, Ming Qian tea has higher value and the supply is also very limited. Moreover, in the past few years, the persistent drought in Yunnan caused the Ming Qian tea production continues to reduce.

View in Lincang

The common scenery of Lincang. On the contrary to the scenery of South Yunnan, here is extremely dry just like a desert.


Tea garden in Lincang

The high altitude (2000m) and dry weather produces quality tea.


Based on my experience, it is not easy to obtain the Ming Qian tea, if we visit Lincang area at the end of April. The manufacturers often blend the Ming Qian tea with the tea plucked later in April in order to even out the price and quality. I visit Yunnan at the end of March, as I want to make sure that I am buying Ming Qian tea. Once you taste Ming Qian tea perhaps you could tell the difference. It is not bitter, less astringent and tea body is much stronger.

Related Articles

How to get the latest update on HOJO Tea?

1. Follow Twitter, 2. Click "Like" on Facebook, and 3. Subscribe in newsletter. You can have the latest tea news from HOJO Tea.

Subscribe the Newsletter to enjoy the privileges
You may receive a free sample upon purchase, or you may have the priority to purchase special products. So please remember to subscribe our newsletter as well as the social network.

HOJO TEA Online Shop NEWSlist

Pre-Booking of Da Cha Tou Mao-Cha 2017
Have you ever tried the Cha Tou Mao Cha (Crude Cha Tou …
Unique Flavor and Attractive Function! Fuzhuan Cha
We have upgraded our Fuzhuan cha 茯磚茶. Fuzhuan cha is al …


Pre-Booking of Da Cha Tou Mao-Cha 2017
Have you ever tried the Cha Tou Mao Cha (Crude Cha Tou …
Unique Flavor and Attractive Function! Fuzhuan Cha
We have upgraded our Fuzhuan cha 茯磚茶. Fuzhuan cha is al …
New release of Huo Cao Shan Ripe Pu-erh Tea 2017
Using the spring tea collected from the garden that is …
Seeking for Limited Tea Only Available in May
We arrived Yunnan in March and have been staying for mo …
Pre-Booking of Da Xue Shan Wild Tea and White Tea Mao-Cha
Using the wild tea from Da Xue Shan, we have produced w …
The Field Report of Yunnan Tea in 2018
I have been staying in Yunnan since 31st of March. I ha …
New Release of Geng Ma Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake 2017
We released Geng Ma Raw Pu-erh Tea 2017. (耿馬古樹生茶2017) O …
Cooling speed of water differs depending on the volume of teapot
The smaller the size of teapot the faster the temperatu …
New Release of Li Xiang Bai Mu Dan White Tea
We released a new white tea, called Li Xiang Bai Mu Dan …
A Shiboridashi, the perfect alternative of a Gaiwan
Shiboridashi is one of the tea brewing equipments. In J …