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Tea Drunk is a destination for those seeking exceptional tea and tea knowledge.

Hou Kui (Monkey King) 太平猴魁


Hou Kui (Monkey King) 太平猴魁

Hou Kui.jpg
Hou Kui.jpg

Hou Kui (Monkey King) 太平猴魁

from 12.00

Lu Xi Keng, Tai Ping

Elegant, floral, vegetal with a tender mouth feel

With a leaf length of over 70mm, Hou Kui is the largest green tea. It is made with a big-leaf varietal called Shi Da, highly unusual for a green tea. There is no tea more tedious to make than Hou Kui. Every single leaf of this tea is individually hand pressed and if you look closely, you can see the pattern of the fabric in the leaves. Hou Kui is grassier and significantly more floral than the other green teas. Many people become fans of this tea not only for its umami and fresh taste, but also for its elegant dance in the glass. China has a history of giving our best teas as national gift to visiting head of states. Although Hou Kui has historically been known, it has found renewed fame in recent years when it reached the status of a national gift.  Though there’s no official confirmation of this status, the legend was widespread enough for Hou Kui to demand the highest price out of green teas for almost a decade.

The true origin of Hou Kui is Tai Ping county, with Hou Keng (monkey dip) hailed as the top terroir. Other notable terroirs include Lu Xi Keng, Yan Jia Lu, Hou Gang and San Men Ling. Hou Kui is one of the latest harvested green teas of China due to colder climate as well as the shape requirement. It is usually harvested end of April in a 10 day period. Given Hou Kui’s high price, plenty of knock offs are available in the region. The genuine Hou Kui is always darker than the machine-flattened Hou Kui which is light green and usually harvested using empty buds. Connoisseurs sometimes also look for a faint trace of red vein in the Hou Kui as well as pointy ends.


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  • standard fairness pitcher size is 325ml
  • for detailed brewing instruction, please check our brewing guide