It has been a while since I reviewed a tisane. Today I could have my tea session very late, and I chose a tisane which happens to be honeysuckle tea. I have never tried one before.
According to Chinese Materia Medica, this tea initially appeared in Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (about 420-589 A.D.). It is the bud or early flower of four kinds of semi-evergreen woody climbing shrubs of the family Caprifoliaceae including Lonicera japonica Thunb. This tisane is popular in China, and it grows in many regions including Henan, Shandong, and Guangdong and the buds are collected in the early summer pre-blooming and dried in the shade. In Chinese medicine, it is a commonly used essential and useful herb for inflammatory problems.
Interestingly De materia medica also quotes honeysuckle, and its benefits include reducing the spleen, easing fatigues, diminished hiccups but from the sixth day it makes the urine bloody.
Various online sources talk about some common benefits such as easing sore throat and fever and infection prevention. But more research is needed to claim those benefits.
Taste-wise in line with the name, I expected sweetness. But it was very vegetal and astringent. It was like raw French beans. Or green raw plums. In other words, not too pleasant. I won’t miss this tea, and I’m glad I did not buy significant quantities.
Harvest time: 2020
Leaf colour: Light green flower buds
Liquor colour: Bright yellow
Tea Aroma: Vegetal
Tea taste: Astringent and vegetal
Steeping/brewing: I steeped this tisane in gongfu style. There is no need for this. You can just add boiling water to a 2-3 g honeysuckle. Wait a minute, filter and drink it. You can resteep it another time. If so, increase the steeping time by another minute.