Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea Introduction
Imperial Taiping Houkui (also known as Monkey King, Monkey Tea or Tai Ping Hou Kui) is one of the very few teas to have won the "King of Tea" awards. It has been grown since the beginning of the 20th century and originates from the famous tea-making Anhui province in China. Unlike other teas, it is produced from only one bud and the two leaves that surround it. It is renowned for its rich aroma and taste that tea connoisseurs around the world can’t get enough of.
Taiping tea has such an interesting shape. After you unpack it, you will be greeted with a fresh aroma and elongated and crisp leaves. What’s unique about the leaves is that the bud is clamped down by two leaves. This tea also has the longest tea leaves ever. The colors ranging from dark to light green are memorizing to look at and completely draw you in. If you think dry leaves look amazing, wait what it happens when you steep them. When immersed in hot water, the leaves open up and start to dance around the teapot. We recommend that you use glass teaware to watch all of that happen. The taste of Imperial Taiping Houkui tea is pretty mellow, but still rich and complex. A gentle and sweet flavor can be tasted, along with floral overtones. The smell is that of freshly picked orchids. This luxurious tea has avid fans all over the world and once you taste it, you will know why.
Keep in mind that there are many fake Taiping teas out there. In order for it to be real Taiping Houkui tea, it has to be organic, handmade, and go through a specific traditional process which ensures proper flavor and fragrance. The way to recognize fake Taiping tea is by its bland and neutral flavor. These teas can never accomplish the complex tones of the real thing. The color of the leaves will also be very dark and they will look old and saggy. So take that into consideration when buying and tasting this high-end tea.
Taste and Smell Profile
• Flavor: Very gentle with a slight floral overtone
• Color: Yellowish green
• Smell: Fragrant and refreshing
Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea Profile
• Before Brewing: Two leaves that clasp the white bud
• After Brewing: Soft and bright
About AiryTea Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea Package
• Tea Type: Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea
• Weight: 70g
• Shelf Life: 18 months
• Tea Storage Recommendation: Store it in a cool and dry place away from sunlight.
The History of Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Green Tea
Records show that the production of Taiping Houkui tea started blooming during Qing Dynasty which ruled all the way up to 20th century. This tea got its name from the County where it is produced – Taiping in the famous Anhui Province where many other exceptional teas come from. Wong Kui-Cheng, a local farmer is often credited for the invention of this tea. Apparently, it was his idea to start picking one bud and two leaves.
Although this tea is not that old, there are dozens of legends surrounding it. “Houkui” in the name of this tea can be translated to “Monkey King”. This is also a clue what some of the legends are all about. One myth talks about monkeys who live in Taiping area. A female monkey lost her child due to unfortunate circumstances and she was so devastated and heartbroken that she died of grief. A young farmer stumbled upon the poor dead animal and buried it in the dense forest. When he fell asleep that night, the mother monkey came to him in a dream. She guided him to a secret place deep into the mountains. As soon as he woke up, the farmer followed the instructions from the dream and tried to find that mysterious place. He walked for hours, deep into the forest, and finally got to the right place. What he discovered there amazed him – he stood in an untouched tea garden with perfect bushes. He plucked the tea leaves and made the tea.
Because of the area where he was from and the monkey that helped him, he decided to name the tea Taiping Houkui. Another legend says that some tree bushes started to grow on mountain cliffs. The farmers decided that it was simply too dangerous to pick the leaves, so they sent monkeys with baskets to harvest the tea. So now you can understand why this tea is also known as Monkey Tea.
How is Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea Made?
Although this tea consists of two leaves and a bud, three leaves are actually picked and later on in the process, one is removed. Both leaves need to be the same size. The harvest begins in spring, late April and goes on for about two weeks. The earlier the tea leaves are plucked, the higher is the quality of the tea. The second step in the production process is pan frying the tea at high temperatures which stops the oxidation process. Then the leaves go through a heating process four times. It is a very meticulous process that not many people know how to do. Finally, the leaves are pressed into the signature look and roasted one final time. What is fascinating is that all of that is finished in just one day and is all done by hand!
Health Benefits of Handmade Imperial Taiping Houkui Tea
Drinking genuine organic Taiping Houkui tea can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and obesity. The best results are achieved if you consume this tea at least once a day for a longer period of time. Taiping Houkui also offers a natural way of relaxing and forgetting about the stress in your life. You can forget about sleeping pills because this soothing tea will improve your sleep patterns and make you feel more rested in the morning. Natural remedies like this green tea are always a better choice, but remember to choose organic.
For more, please check our post green tea health benefits.
How To Brew Green Tea?
For the best tasting green tea, we recommend you use 2 grams of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water. If you like stronger tea, feel free to add more.
- The optimum water temperature for green tea is 160 - 170* F (70 - 80* Celsius).
- Please note that green tea leaves expand and release their flavors, so a bigger cup or strainer is recommended. Please avoid strainers and cups made of plastic materials.
- After you have boiled water and added tea leaves, let it sit in the cup / kettle for 60 seconds, then taste every 30 seconds until you find your favorite taste combination.
Green Tea Shipping Times
We are proud to offer two great shipping methods that will suit everyone’s needs.
Flat Rate Shipping
- Great for people who are not in a hurry and want to save on even more for green tea. This method will take around 10 to 30 days to arrive.
- For everyone who wants to try our green tea as soon as possible, pick this method and get your tea in just 1 to 5 business days.
Please note: this excludes handling time, which is usually less than 24 hours. However, if there are certain situations beyond our control (such as the post office being closed) it may take up to 72 hours for your package to be shipped.
If you have changed your mind regarding the tea, you can return the unopened package to us and we will be more than happy to give you a refund. Please contact us (with your order number) to proceed with the request.
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(Posted on 9/3/2015)