Harvest Location: Huangshan, Anhui
Harvest Date: 04/14/2020
Dry Leaf: large, long, flat leaves, seaweed color
Flavor: lightly floral notes, slightly sweet
Liquor: velvety, pale green
Taiping Houkui is produced by the tea cultivar Shidaye, a native of what used to be Taiping county, now part of Huangshan City. It is the largest-sized leaf tea among the famous green teas. But surprisingly its size does not affect its delicate orchid fragrance and mellow sweet taste.
The appearance of Taiping Houkui is unique among tea; the buds are tall and growing upright, measuring up to 10 cm. The tea leaves are hand plucked and there are extremely strict regulations and criteria to be followed when harvesting this particular green leaf tea.
There are 2 versions of the origin of the name Taiping Houkui;
The name Houkui (猴魁) means the Monkey King. A monkey king fell sick and died in the mountain area after losing his son. A farmer came across his body and buried it. The next year, some tea trees began to grow at the place where his body was buried. It is believed that the tea trees were transformed from the monkey king, who gave it to the farmer as a token of appreciation for his kind deed. The farmer took good care of the tea tree, harvested the leaves, and made it into this sharp-shaped tea. From then onwards, its unique flavor and taste gained much attention from the villages and became popular and famous.
Taiping Houkui is derived from the tea produced by Wang Kui Cheng from Hou Kang Village in Taiping county. The tea produced in this area was called Jiancha ( pointy tea, i.e. 尖茶 ), Mr Wang developed a different processing method wherein instead of rolling the leaves lightly to keep them straight as in Jiancha, he pressed them between meshes with a roller during the low fire baking process to make them really thin and straight... Taiping Hou Kui.
Taiping Hou Kui
Tall Glass Brewing Method
The water temperature for brewing Taiping Houkui tea is essential for preparing the perfect cup of tea. The water should only be between 170 to 175 degrees F; the tall glass brewing method is an easy and simple way to enjoy Taiping Houkui. All you need to do is use a tall glass, put the tea leaves in first, and then fill the glass with the recommend temperature of water. Once the leaves sink to the bottom of the glass, the tea is ready to be enjoyed. Good quality teas like Taiping Houkui should never become bitter; thus the leaves can remain in the glass while you sip the tea.