Welcome to our article where we delve into the fascinating world of Taiping Houkui tea. Here, we explore the origins of this exquisite tea and uncover its rich history rooted in the breathtaking landscapes of Anhui, China. Discover the meticulous cultivation and harvesting techniques that bring forth the distinct flavors and aromas of Taiping Houkui tea. But that’s not all – we also delve into the remarkable health benefits of Taiping Houkui. From its abundance of antioxidants to its potential to enhance relaxation and promote overall well-being, this tea is a true treasure. Join us on this journey of discovery and unlock the secrets behind the origin and healthful qualities.
Taiping Houkui Tea Origin
Taiping Houkui tea is mainly produced in Xinming Township, Huangshan District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province. It was created in 1900 and has a history of over a hundred years. In 1912, after Dr. Sun Yat-sen tasted it, he wrote the phrase “Drinking a cup of monkey tea, knowing oneself without regrets” to express his fondness for the tea. In 1915, this tea was awarded the gold medal and certificate of first class at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in the United States.
The production area of Taiping Houkui tea is located in Huangshan District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province. It covers 14 townships and 70 administrative villages, with geographical coordinates ranging from 117°50′15″E to 118°20′20″E and 29°59′14″N to 30°31′5″N. The production area is characterized by the mountainous terrain of southern Anhui, with hills, plateaus, river valleys, plains, and water bodies, often referred to as “eight mountains, one water, half-field, half-road, and manor.”
Taiping Houkui tea is suitable for cultivation at an altitude of 350-600 meters, and the tea gardens are mostly surrounded by Taihu Lake.
The tea-growing region is rich in vegetation, with a forest coverage rate of over 90%. The soil is sandy soil formed by the weathering of metamorphic shale, rich in minerals and organic matter. The soil has good fertility and permeability, with a pH value of 5-6, which contributes to the unique quality of the long and robust stems and leaves.
Taiping Houkui tea is known as the “king of green tea” and the finest among pointed teas. The tea-picking season starts in mid-April and lasts for more than 20 days until the beginning of summer.
When we see Taiping Houkui tea, the first impression is its appearance, which is quite different from most delicate tea leaves. Taiping Houkui leaves appear relatively “rough,” flat, straight, and broad.
What makes it so special?
“Two pointed leaves embracing a bud, not spreading, curling, or rolling.” Taiping Houkui tea is significantly different from Maofeng tea grown in the southern foothills of Huangshan. Firstly, they are made from different tea varieties – Maofeng uses Huangshan Da Ye (Large Leaf) variety, while Taiping Houkui uses Shi Da Cha (Persimmon Seed) variety.
Shi Da Cha has a later budding time, but the tea plants grow tall and straight. The fully grown leaves are large and elliptical, and the standard size is 7 centimeters.
The most distinctive feature is the two leaves embracing a bud. The leaves are flat and straight, sturdy and robust, with a uniform green color and a covering of white fuzz. When brewed, the leaves stand upright in the cup, displaying a vibrant green color. The tea soup is apricot green, clear, and fragrant, emanating an elegant and refined aroma from the bottom of the cup.
How to brew Taiping Houkui tea?
Brewing Taiping Houkui tea requires careful attention to ensure optimal flavor and aroma. Here is a simple guide to brewing this exquisite tea:
- Start by heating water to around 80°C (176°F). Avoid using boiling water to prevent scalding delicate leaves and to preserve the tea’s delicate flavors.
- Preheat the teapot or teacup by rinsing it with hot water. This helps to maintain the temperature of the brewed tea.
- Take about 5-6 grams of Taiping Houkui tea leaves and place them into the preheated teapot or teacup.
- Gently pour the hot water over the tea leaves, allowing them to steep. Let the tea steep for about 2-3 minutes, adjusting the steeping time according to your preference for strength.
- After the steeping time, pour the brewed tea into the serving cups, ensuring an even distribution of the tea’s flavors.
- It can be enjoyed as is or with a touch of sweetness. You can add honey, sugar, or rock sugar to enhance the taste if desired.
- Take a moment to appreciate the vibrant green color and the exquisite aroma of the tea. Savor each sip slowly to fully experience the delicate and refreshing flavors of Taiping Houkui.
In addition to its captivating flavors and unique brewing process, Taiping Houkui tea offers a range of health benefits. This renowned tea is packed with antioxidants that help combat free radicals and support overall well-being. It is believed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve digestion. It is also known to be hydrating and can be enjoyed as a refreshing beverage throughout the day. With its rich history, distinct appearance, and remarkable health benefits, Taiping Houkui tea is truly a treasure worth experiencing. Embrace the tranquility and indulgence of this exceptional tea, and let its soothing qualities and delightful taste enhance your tea-drinking journey.