Pre-Qingming and Mingqian (pronounced Ming Chien) are synonymous with "Before Qing Ming Festival". All tea produced before this holiday period are given this prestigious label that signifies the earliest of the main pickings, and therefore the youngest possible tea leaves. These teas have a slightly greener taste and are generally a lot gentler and subtler than their later-picked counterparts. The general consensus in the tea community is that Mingqian tea is wonderful, but still a matter of taste. And it's value is extremely high due to two reasons: 1) It is widely seen as superior and 2) it is simply hard to find much tea to harvest so early in the season!