I don’t know why, but I wanted to drink green tea today. I already had an aged sheng this morning and wanted something completely different this afternoon. Luckily for me, I still had some samples from Tea Joint and one of those samples was a spring 2019 Tai Ping Hou Kui. I had never tasted a Tai Ping Hou Kui, so it promised to be an interesting session.
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Tai Ping Hou Kui
Tai Ping Hou Kui is a green tea from China’s Anhui Province. It’s usually grown in several villages in Tai Ping county, hence its name. It literally translates as ‘monkey leader from Tai Ping’. The remarkable thing about these leaves is their shape. The leaves are very long and pressed flat and they are almost as thin as a sheet of paper.
The shape of the dry leaves is typical for a Hou Kui. Very long and flat green leaves. I see bright and darker tints of green. The aroma is definitely vegetal. I’m getting some green notes, some hay and a touch of nuttiness.
The aroma of the wet leaves is still green, but there is more nuttiness and grassy notes instead of hay. The leaves are still flat and massive in size. They now have a uniform green colour.
- Water 80°C
- 4g for a 100ml porcelain gaiwan
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
Infusion 1 (15 sec): pleasant infusion and very gentle flavours. There is a slight hint of something grassy, but it’s mostly nutty flavours that I’m getting. It’s nutty with a sweet touch to it. It’s not the sugar kind of sweetness, but it’s a bit like sweet roasted soy beans. This goes on into the aftertaste. Definitely a fantastic infusion.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the grassiness is a bit more prominent now and the undertone is similar to the sweet roasted soy beans from the previous infusion. However, the finish is packing a slightly grassy punch and the aftertaste is sweeter again. Really complex.
Infusion 3 (20 sec): it’s becoming grassier and grassier. I’m only picking up some slight hints of that sweet nuttiness from earlier. What’s interesting is that the aftertaste is still as sweet and nutty as during the previous infusions. The infusion itself isn’t that sweet and nutty, but the aftertaste makes up for it.
Infusion 4 (25 sec): more or less the same as infusion 3. Grassy flavour profile with a sweet and nutty undertone. It’s a tiny bit fresher with an edgy grassiness in the finish. The aftertase is less nutty in this one. It’s also starting to get a bit astringent.
Infusion 5 (30 sec): the grassiness is less dominant and I’m getting more of the nutty sweetness again. The leaves are starting to fade, but the infusion itself is still full of flavour. It’s the aftertaste that isn’t really there anymore.
Infusion 6 (40 sec): this one is similar to infusion 5. The flavours during the infusion are still good, but there is not really an aftertaste. The infusion itself is a soft and sweet nuttiness with a light hint of grass. It’s still really good, despite being the 6th infusion.
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I couldn’t have wished for a better first-time experience with Tai Ping Hou Kui. It had everything that I usually look for when choosing a green tea. Light hints of grassiness with a dominant display of sweet and nutty soy beans. I got these flavours in different intensities, but they were all there in all infusions. This is definitely a solid tea and might be worth it it you’re looking to try Tai Ping Hou Kui for the first time.
If you want to try this tea yourself, you can buy it over here.