Taiping Hou Kui, or Green Monkey King, comes to us from the An Hui province. What first strikes you is the size of the leaf and the care that has been taken in processing. This green tea, grown in an area that produces orchids has a complex, yet smooth floral character.
Insider Tip: This tea leaf is extremely large compared to other teas, which have been rolled or twisted in processing. You definately won't get it into a tea ball, so we recommend rinsing the leaves before infusing in a basket or pot. Better yet, use a gaiwan or large glass to give the leaves lots of room to infuse. If you use a large glass pot and infuse it loose, you can see the large leaves and appreciate the beauty as you sip.
Caffeine Level: Low.
Green teas are unoxidized and process by withering or wilting, followed by pan-firing or steaming, then a shaping process. During the shaping processes, further drying takes place, giving each green tea a distinct shape, character, and flavor. Often shaped by hand in places like China or Vietnam, the skill to craft these teas is passed down from generation to generation. In Japan, most of the tea processing is done mechanically, using machines and conveyor belts to steam, shape, and cool the teas.
Kukicha, Japanese twig tea, imparts a slightly sweeter taste than would a Sencha, yet retains that classic Japanese green tea character. It is naturally low in caffeine so is great for those wanting...