Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Core Original Place of Taiping Hou Kui

Taiping Hou Kui (simplified Chinese: 太平猴魁; pinyin: tàipínghóukuí.) tea also named Monkey King Tea is grown in Taiping County, Anhui Province, at the foot of Huangshan Mountain. The tea was first made at the beginning of the 20th century in a small village named Hou Keng (猴坑).

Authentic Taiping Hou Kui is now commonly thought to be only produced in three small remote villages in Xinming township, Taiping county. The celebrity status combined with the small annual output drove the tea to the high-sky price, especially after the Chinese President Hu Jingtao chose it as a national gift presented to foreign leaders or dignitaries during recent years. Now Taiping Hou Kui along with Dragon Well (Long Jing)Green Snail Spring (Biluochun) and Melon Seek (Liu An Gua Pian) are among the Chinese most expensive green tea rank, dwarfing its also well-known cousin Huangshan Mao Feng.

Great taste, nice aroma as well as unique appearance make Taiping Hou Kui distinct among Chinese famous teas. Around mid-April, 2012, we made another trip to Fenghuang Jian, Houkeng, the core original place of Taiping Hou Kui, in an attempt to know more about the amazing and mysterious Chinese green tea. Fenghuang Jian is a small place of Houkeng. Some people thought Wang Kuicheng, the originator of Taiping Hou Kui tea, first created the tea here. Fenghuang in Chinese means Phoenix and Jian here means the beak. Fenghuang Jian in Chinese means “the beak of Phoenix".

Kou Keng is much remote, not to mention Fenghuang Jian. It takes more than two hours by car from the urban area to Houkeng and then there is no road for the car to go through. We have to walk.

It is a tough journey but the scenery gave us much joy.

The sky flames with azaleas.

We nearly arrived after walking for more than one hour. There is a stone tablet at the roadside, indicating Fenghuang Jian is the original place of Taiping Hou Kui and Wang Kuicheng is the originator. It also mentioned that Taiping Hou Kui tea won the gold prize in the Expo held in Panama in 1915.

There are tea bushes everywhere. The local tea cultivar is unique. It is called"Shi Da" cultivar, belonging to the medium-leaf variety, famous for strong "Chi Nen Xing" -shoot tenderness-keeping ability. That is why Taiping Hou Kui can be so delicate even made of big twigs of one bud embraced by two leaves.

We finally arrived. So great, here has a superb view of Taiping Lake.

The three big characters inscribed on the stone tablet are just Feng Huang Jian. The tablet indicates here (Fenghuang Jian) is the original place of Taiping Hou Kui.

The tomb of Wang Kuicheng

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