This green tea is a must-try. Produced in very small quantities, it combines beauty and gastronomy. The aromatic richness of this multi-faceted tea is the sign of highly skilled processing and a mark of the finest new-season China green teas. The notes are rich, complex and very long in the mouth.
Intense and very full with a good presence in the mouth, this tea tastes complex right from the start, with vegetal, marine and toasted notes. These are followed by floral, fruity qualities (citrus, blackcurrant) that intensify and linger. An absolute must, produced in very small quantities, combining poetic and gourmet delights. The aromatic richness, multiple and subtle, is a work of great quality and exclusive to the best new season teas from China.
This very famous tea, often mentioned in the works of the poets, is produced in the Tai Ping region, in the south of the Huang Shan mountains (Anhui province). There are many legends surrounding it. According to one of these, the slopes on which the tea trees from which it originates were planted, were far too steep for people to work on, so the locals trained monkeys to climb the trees and pick the leaves, the best of which were then made into tea. This explains the name, which means, ‘the best monkeys of Tai Ping’ Monkey Chief/King (from/of Taiping). Another legend links this name with the Taiping Rebellion, a tragic episode in Chinese history in the 1850s which ended in a bloody repression.
A special feature of Tai Ping Hou Kui occurs during infusion, when the veins in the leaves turn bright red. This particular legend therefore also claims that the name is a poetic tribute to the blood spilled by the rebels.The uniqueness of this tea comes from the very special shape of its leaf: a stem of a deep, intense green, comprising a bud and two flattened leaves. During infusion, it opens out to resemble a flower floating on the surface of the zhong. With justification, Tai Ping Hou Kui derives its reputation from the flowery note that can resemble the scent of orchids.
François-Xavier Delmas' choice:
“It’s impossible to drink this wonderful tea without thinking about the incredible work involved in making it, about the leaves that are rolled by hand, then placed one by one in a frame covered in a cloth, over which a small roller is passed, to flatten them.”
- Origin: Anhui, China
- Tea colour: green tea
- Appearance: large stems folded and flattened according to the traditional Tai Ping Hou Kui process
- Colours: an attractive dark green and pale green
- Scents: mineral, metallic, vegetal (cut grass), a hint of zest
Brewed leaves (infusion):
- Scents: pronounced mineral, a burnt hint, vegetal, floral (white flowers)
- Colour: green
- Texture: a texture that is very present right from the start thanks to the astringency that is perfectly distributed throughout the mouth, which sustains the aromas and makes them linger
- Flavours: slightly sweet
- Aromas: pronounced mineral to start, with marine, metallic and pronounced vegetal notes (cut grass, stems), a strong accent of white flowers, then the notes become much fruitier (fresh fruit, nectarine, exotic fruits) and zesty (grapefruit, lime)
- Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: the tea is powerful from the start, and the aromas are present throughout the tasting. The aromas remain powerful at the finish, with pronounced vegetal, fruity, zesty and metallic notes
Throughout the year, our experts travel in the tea plantations looking for the best pluckings and new, rare, delicious teas.
The fact that we travel so extensively, that we taste and buy on location has many advantages and allows us to find rare crops by looking outside the traditional supplier circuit, to taste and to share with you the harvests of small plantations, which are often hidden away.
Visiting tea estates regularly and thereby establishing long-lasting relations with our suppliers allows us to guarantee regular quality control of the teas we buy, and to continue our mission: to bring you the best quality teas and to share our travels and experience with you, while concerning ourselves with environmental issues, working conditions on the estates and the fair trade practices to which we adhere.