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No. 134 - Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea

Quick Overview

Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui, also called as Tea King Tai Ping Hou Kui, is purely handmade green tea. Tea King means it is the king of Tai Ping Hou Kui tea, which is of the highest grade as national tea. It is a Chinese tea from Hou Keng in Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province.

Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui has brisk and smooth taste with sweet aftertaste. The long-lasting mellow flavor will leave a faint fragrance lingering in your mouth. The tea is made in the shape of two pieces of leaf holding one bud.

The unique flavor of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui is inseparable from its particular traditional making method. The method has five procedures: picking, extracting, spreading, fixation, drying. This special crafting method gives Tai Ping Hou Kui the unique appearance from other green teas. This tea has flat and straight leaf, also big and thick. The bud is hidden in two leaves. It could not be seen without brewing the tea. After brewed, the tea leaves will stretch and reveal the bud.

The dark green color of Tai Ping Hou Kui: high quality Tai Ping Hou Kui has dark green or forest green leaves, without any yellowish or brownish marks.

Why are Tai Ping Hou Kui tea leaves flat: during the making of Tai Ping Hou Kui, the tea maker will gently and repeatedly press the tea leaves with their hands, making the leaves into flat shape. Due to the unique flat and straight shape, Tai Ping Hou Kui is recommended to be brewed with glass cup.

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Details

Legends of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

Once upon a time, on the beautiful Huangshan Mountain, there lived a small monkey. One day he went out to play, and wandered to Taiping County in northern Huangshan. Yet he lost himself in the place he had never been before, and made no return to his home. His parents went to find him in the entire country, however failed no matter how hard they tried. They finally died of tiredness in a hole in the northwest of Taiping County. In the valley nearby there lived a kind-hearted man, Wang Laoer, who made a living by picking wild tea and digging herbs in the deep mountain. He happened to find the old monkey’s body, and kindly buried it in the mountain. One year passed, Wang Laoer came again to this place to pick wild teas. Surprisingly he found the place changed a lot. Beautiful tea trees grew everywhere. At that moment Wang realized that the old monkey he buried is not a normal monkey. It must be the monkey who granted the tea trees to him. In order to memory the monkey, Wang named the place as Hou Gang, and named the teas picked from the tea trees here as Hou Kui. This is the legend of Tai Ping Hou Kui.


Manual Making Method of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui has flat and straight tea leaves in dark green color. Dry tea has the natural and even shape of two leaves holding one bud. The thick leaves present gentle flavor with orchid fragrance. It tastes smooth and sweet, has strong and long-lasting sweet aftertaste. This unique flavor and appearance is determined by its making process.

Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui is produced in traditional method: picking – extracting – spreading – fixation – drying.

Picking Extracting Spreading
picking tai ping hou kui green tea picking tai ping hou kui green tea picking tai ping hou kui green tea
The tea leaves of Tai Ping Hou Kui are picked under extremely strict standard, especially on the time of picking. Tea workers go up the mountain in early morning when mist rises. After picked, the fresh tea leaves will be extracted piece by piece under the strict standard of one bud and two leaves or one bud and three leaves. Spreading is to wither the fresh tea leaves. This process will last for 4 to 6 hours.

Why is this Tea Called as Tai Ping Hou Kui?

Tia Ping Hou Kui tea is only produced in Hou Keng in Huangshan City. The city was originally named as Taiping County, which was founded in Tang Dynasty. Hou Keng (猴坑, hóu kēng) was named for lots of monkeys lived there. Hou means monkey. What’s more, Tai Ping Hou Kui is the best kind green tea. That is the meaning of the word Kui (魁, in Chinese means the best). Combining its origin place and characteristic, it therefore has the name Tai Ping Hou Kui.

Note: Taiping County was authorized by the State Council to be restructured into county-level Huangshan City in December of 1983. In November 27, 1987, the county-level Huangshan City was reorganized into Huangshan District under the command of prefecture-level Huangshan City.


Honor of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui is handmade under extremely strict standard. It owns many honorable reputations. Early in 1915, Tai Ping Hou Kui tea won the golden award in the Panama Pacific International Exposition. In 1955, Tai Ping Hou Kui was hailed as one of China’s ten most famous teas.

On March 26, 2007, the former president of China Hu Jintao visited Russian and presented the “Chinese Year” Exposition where he gave Tai Ping Hou Kui, Huang Shan Mao Feng and other two kinds of famous Chinese tea to President Putin as national gifts.


Hou Keng: The Origin Place of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

Hou Keng locates in Xinming Village in Huangshan City, Anhui Province, which is in the northwest in Huangshan District. Hou Keng is the center producing area of Tai Ping Hou Kui. In the end of 2008, the village has totally 11200 hectares forests and 533 hectares tea gardens on the basis of a total area of 14100 hectares.

Map of Anhui province


Secret of the Appearance of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

The key of forming the appearance of Tai Ping Hou Kui is the process of fixation and roasting. How the tea leaves are fixated determines the tea’s appearance. There is a standard of fixation: stir 50-100 g tea leaves to in the pan at 120℃; When the tea leaves become hot and start to release tea fragrance, the process of fixation ends and the leaves can move on for the next step. Move the tea leaves onto roasting basket. Use hands to gently press the leaves when roasting. This process will be repeated for 4 times till the leaves become completely dry and brittle, then stop pressing the leaves. The “Red Line” on Tai Ping Hou Kui Leaf is usually seen in the leaves of handmade Tai Ping Hou Kui. What’s more, Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui leaves are in dark green color because during its making, the tea leaves will be pressed by hands.


Shidacha Tea Tree: The Tree Specie of Nonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui

Shidacha tea tree, scientifically named as C.sinensis, is also called Shiyecha tea tree. It belongs to seedling family, bush, large leaf specie. It originates in Xinming Village in Huangshan City, Anhui Province. The kind of one bud and three leaves shape mainly sprouts in the end of April in medium output. Spring tea leaves are in one bud and two leaves shape, containing 3.6% amino acid, 23.8% tea polyphenol, 13.6% catechinic acid and 4% caffeine. It is usually made into green tea.


Brief Health Info

Just like all green teas, our TaiPing HouKui has high levels of antioxidants that reputedly help reduce the incidence of cancer, promote good skin tone and help reduce the affects of aging.  Also containing vitamin C, fluoride and calcium, TeaVivre's TaiPing HouKui also promotes healthy teeth and bones.

Additional Information

Ingredients Green Tea
Product of: No
Region(s) Anhui Province - Mt. Huangshan
Antioxidants Medium
Caffeine Low
Makes Great Iced Tea No
Milk No
Sugar No
Lemon No
Mint No
Organic No
Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Amount) 8.45 fl oz / 250 ml
Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Temp) 185 F / 85 C
Chinese Gongfu Method (Amount) 3 g
Chinese Gongfu Method (Time) 3 Minutes, repeat until flavor is exhausted
Western Method (Water Amount) 8.45 fl oz / 250 ml
Western Method (Water Temp) 185 F / 85 C
Western Method (Amount) 1-2 Tablespoons
Western Method (Time) Leave until flavor is exhausted
Steeping Notes No