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This tea is just plain fun! I enjoy tea – all types (with only a few exceptions). However, when there is a special fun factor involved, I enjoy it even more. This Monkey King is just such a tea.

I had heard about Monkey King from a former Chinese exchange student in one of the courses I taught a few years ago. He said that I would definitely enjoy it. I never forgot that recommendation and I’ve been on the lookout for the tea.

I recently placed an order through an eBay tea shop based in Shenzhen (Royal Tea Bay). By the way, I would recommend this direct source for tea from China – shipping cost is included in their tea prices and my order arrived at my front door just 7 days after placing it online. I was delighted to discover that they had a new Spring 2013 harvest of Tai Ping Hou Kui (Monkey King Green Tea) and I had to order it. My order arrived late yesterday and I was quite excited to try it early this morning.

I am in love with this tea – the whole experience! First of all, be prepared to be blown away by the size of the leaf - 4" to 4.25". Beautiful thin, whole, flat leaves with lovely shades of green coloring in each. They are very delicate and paper thin like tissue paper. The aroma of the dry leaf is slight but pleasant.

The recommendation for brewing this tea is to use a clear glass with 175 – 180 degree water. I decided to try it in my 16oz Chinese glass tumbler with filter for drinking. I was unsure of the leaf amount so I started with 22 long leaves added after pouring the heated water. It was a pleasure to watch these tall soldiers stand at full attention in the water. The tea aroma was vegetal and sweet and was a very pale yellowish-green color. The flavor is sweet with clear vegetal overtones and I was able to detect a little citrus.

As I finished half of the liquid in the glass tumbler, I added more hot water. This continued over a three hour period using the original 22 leaves, adding more and more water, and it was only at the very end that I detected a slight astringency.

This tea is fantastic and this was a wonderful tea experience. I’ll definitely reorder. Teavivre has a Spring 2013 Tai Ping Hou Kui Green and that will probably be my next Monkey King tasting.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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Bio

Former coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. Surprised to learn what a passion I have developed for all things tea related.

Steepster has been a big help – I’ve been reading daily to learn as much as I can. Thanks to Steepster reviews, I’ve been able to find good tea (and sellers) – a few misses for me but lots of hits!

At the moment, I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Started with flavored teas but moved quickly into high quality blacks, greens, oolongs and puerhs — drinking hot flavored teas less and less. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging. My cold brews for iced tea tend to be a fruity green, white or rooibos but every once in awhile I’ll chill an oolong or puerh.

Note: In an effort to keep track of all the teas I’ve tried, my cupboard includes any tea I’ve ever owned (including things I’ve sipped down or given away and no longer have in my tea cupboard). In addition, many of the teas listed are unopened waiting to age or work their way into the rotation.

Location

Raleigh, NC

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