Tai Ping Hou Kui is a wonderful light green tea that comes from Tai Ping County of Anhui Province, China. It is one of the Chinese teas that has a great name when translated. While Tai Ping is a place name, it can also be translated as ‘peaceful’. Hou Kui means ‘monkey chief’ or ‘monkey leader’. So the literal translation of Tai Ping Hou Kui is ‘Peaceful Monkey Leader’. As this translation is not particularly common, we opted for using the Chinese name for this tea instead.
The production of this particular style of tea really only took off in the early 20th century but it has since gained significant popularity both in China and in the West. So much so that it is now sometimes listed as one of China’s famous teas.
Tai Ping Hou Kui green tea is extremely well processed, most of the processing taking place by hand. The hand plucking is done very carefully to ensure that the bud and the top leaves are plucked together. They are then checked again at the factory where they ensure the leaves meet the rigorous standards. This tea is different as, unlike most green teas, it does not undergo any process of rolling. The leaves are simply dried in bamboo baskets that are heated to different temperatures. This results in the leaves retaining much of their original shape once dried.
The fine leaves of this Tai Ping Hou Kui green tea are very long and are straight, retaining the original shape of the leaves prior to the drying process. The dry leaves have a wonderful green peach aroma to them. The liquor produced is very light in colour with a pleasant fragrance. The taste is also light, very smooth and slightly sweet and vegetal. There are notes of creamy vanilla and sweet peaches to round off the taste. A wonderful cup that is smooth and refreshing!
This tea is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes and can be brewed multiple times. When experimenting with repeated steepings, you can gradually increase the water temperature and steep time to extract fuller flavour.
You can read a short independent review of this tea on The “Once In A Lifetime Experience” Club.