Honeysuckle Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Burnt Sugar, Honey, Muscatel
Sold in
Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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  • “Probably a shame to review this when it’s sold out. But I’ve still got a little left in my personal cupboard. This was such an interesting tea to drink, and to look at. Most fine-pluck tippy teas...” Read full tasting note

From Murchie's Tea & Coffee

Honeysuckle Black is produced from the Jin Guan Yin oolong cultivar, originally from Anxi, Fujian, but recently transplanted and grown in Anhua, Hunan and then processed as a black tea. Jin Guan Yin is a fairly recent hybrid cultivar of Huang Jin Gui and Tie Guan Yin. It is normally processed as a rolled oolong with a light oxidation and roast, similar to its parents.

Honeysuckle Black is a Ming Qian tea, which means a tea picked before the Qing Ming, or Tomb Sweeping Festival in China. It is a very small window of picking, reserved for high quality teas such as Longjing (Dragonwell), and Jin Jun Mei (Golden Eyebrow). The pluck is very particular – one bud and one leaf – which means extra detail taken to picking and extra processing time to make sure the bud and leaf remain intact. This is due to the delicateness of the tea; too much processing will remove the fine golden down from the leaf. The one bud one leaf plucking standard is not often seen in Ming Qian teas.

Tasting Notes: Thick and honeyed, with muscatel, fruity overtones. The golden down is so abundant it floats in the cup.

About Murchie's Tea & Coffee View company

Since 1894, Murchie’s has been importing and blending the finest quality teas from select gardens around the world. As the decades have passed, the art of tea blending and tradition of excellence are handed down along with the old recipes. Today, Murchie’s offers traditional products and classic blends while also developing new combinations for a new generation of tea drinkers. We are proud to provide blends for events and occasions, from local landmarks to national observations and royal milestones.

1 Tasting Note

462 tasting notes

Probably a shame to review this when it’s sold out. But I’ve still got a little left in my personal cupboard.

This was such an interesting tea to drink, and to look at. Most fine-pluck tippy teas have a smattering of gold tips amongst black tips. But with this one, each individual leaf has some gold and some black on it. Very careful sorting, almost all of them delicate whole buds.

Brewed this in a gaiwan, rough steeps of 15-20 seconds as I like a strong black. The cup is a deep red (the photo doesn’t do it justice, that’s much too light unless you’re intentionally trying to brew it light), and if you catch it in the light, you can see the fuzz from the leaves floating. The smell and taste is remarkably unique to me—burnt sugar and/or buckwheat honey is the best I can describe it. Very rich and sweet, with a kind of syrupy mouthfeel that lingers. Lighter steeps almost bring out a muscatel, winey note, alike but very different to any Darjeeling I’ve ever had. There are little notes of… I want to say grain or malt that verge into the ‘burnt sugar’ description.

I find this doesn’t get bitter, but it can get STRONG, due to the small size of the leaf material. Second steep really filled my mouth and nose with aroma. Wine. Fruit? Something of that sort, thick honey—it was given the name ‘honeysuckle’ at the importer-level due to that unmistakable syrupy honey flavour; I specifically wrote down ‘buckwheat honey’ in my own notes, because if anyone has ever tried THAT. It’s downright molassesy, and definitely still applies here.

The muscatel/wine notes in particular come through at the end of the sip, sort of lingering on the tongue.


Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Muscatel

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Roswell Strange

Natural honey notes are one of my favourite things to find in tea, but buckwheat honey in particular is something that I ADORE (fan of all things molasses-y it seems). This would probably be right up my alley, were it not sold out.

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