2016/01/26

Taiping Monkey Tea(Anhui)

  Taiping Monkey Tea(Anhui)

This Taiping Houkui (aka Monkey King) wholeleaf green tea comes from Taiping county in Anhui province, China. The dry leaves are, although straight and course, nevertheless beautiful to behold: vibrant green, about two inches long, pan-fried and pressed with a criss-cross design. When infused, the tea broth is a pale olive-green color. The taste is distinct, vegetal, almost sweet, mellow, and refreshing. The smell is similar.

Taiping Houkui is commonly included in the list of China's top ten teas. The derivation of the name is interesting. Taiping, of course, refers to the county. Hou ('Monkey' in Chinese) comes from the name of a village in Taiping county, called Houkeng ('Monkey Hollow'). As the story goes, a gentleman named Wang Kuicheng in the early part of the 20th century had improved on the process of making a popular local tea ('Jian cha'). Over time, Wang's improved tea became known in time as Taiping Houkui tea.

Brewed color: Pale olive green. Flavor: Mellow, sweet, vegetal, refreshing. Aftertaste: Mild. Preparation: For best results, use spring or mineral water just before it comes to a boil. (Too cool, and the tea broth tastes insipid, too hot and it tastes like boiled spinach.)