Updated: Mar 16, 2021
TAI PING HOU KUI
translation: Peaceful Monkey Leader or Monkey King Tea
Origin: Huangshan City, Anhui, China
Harvest: April 2019
Steeping Suggestion: 170° for 2-3 minutes
Tai Ping Hou Kui, or perhaps known by its English names, Peaceful Monkey Leader or Monkey King Tea, is a Chinese green tea grown in the Anhui province. Anhui is part of the Jiangbei (meaning north of the Yangzi River) tea region, a region that receives less rain and high temperature differences between night and day. The Jiangbei region specializes in green teas such as Tai Ping Hou Kui.
Tai Ping Hou Kui is a spring harvested tea that embodies the season in aesthetic and taste. The leaves are some of the most beautiful tea leaves you will ever see! Tai Ping Hou Kui is not just beautiful in taste but it also boasts a floral sweetness that lingers at the back of the throat.
Tai Ping Hou Kui steeps into a light green hue. While not as vibrant green as a lot of green teas, Tai Ping Hou Kui has a clean and calm tone. I would describe its appearance as light, air-y, refreshing, and peaceful.
Candied freshly grown grass; sweetened chlorophyll; floral
Herb and grassy scent; warm chlorophyll
The flavors are as warm herb oatmeal. A similar tasting experience to white tea except for the piecing chlorophyll notes. A sweet floral note lingers and aerates the back of the throat after the sip. I believe the grassy notes are muffled due to the temperature of the water. Slightly astringent.
With the cooling of the water, the steep becomes more flavorful on the initial sip. Instead of the warm herb oatmeal notes occupying the initial experience, they politely give way to floral and grassy notes that play on the palate. The tannins seem to accumulate on the palate now creating a dry mouth feel. I am really sensitive to caffeine, at this point, I feel its awakening effects.
The flavors are now softer and much less astringent. The grassy notes take center stage and the floral notes wilt away. The after taste is less of a sweet/floral note and is now more of an astringent/grass note. The excitement of spring fades into a calm summer. The caffeine is noticeably affecting my thought processing; I am more alert and focused.
The tea seems to be almost spent; all but the grassy notes are either faint or non-perceiveable. The grassy notes struggle to maintain their place on the palate. The weak notes wash away with the water and there isn't an after taste.
Tai Ping Hou Kui with Honey:
Adding a teaspoon of Cameroonian honey to Steep One results in a steep that smells like caramelized greens. Interestingly, the tea takes on caremlized onion and Brussel Sprout notes. The sugars in the honey attach themselves to the grassy and floral notes and create one single note of caremelized vegetal. I find this experience to be confusing and distracting; I appreciate the tea more without honey.
Visually, Tai Ping Hou Kui is satisfying. The leaves are truly a work of art that can reveal markings of a unique basket design due to a specific pressing step in the drying stage.
Learn more about Tai Ping Hou Kui
Tai Ping Hou Kui, pg. 51