Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea by Teavivre

TaiPingHouKuiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

A premium quality green tea, renowned as one of China’s top ten 10’s

  • Produced in TaiPing HouKeng(太平猴坑) in Anhui province
  • Harvest time: April 16, 2015
  • Long, flat leaves of one bud and two leaves
  • Tea Liquid: bright and clean in light green color
  • Flavor: sweet and smooth with strong aroma, has long-lasting sweet aftertaste
  • Low caffeine (less than 10% of a cup of coffee)

Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui grows in Hou Keng on Huangshan Mountain, which is the center producing area of Tai Ping Hou Kui green tea. In China, Tai Ping Hou Kui is famed as one of the most famous ten Chinese teas. Leaves of semi-hand Tai Ping Hou Kui are even in thickness, and have brighter color thanNonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui. First crafted in 1915, it went on to win gold medal for best tea at the 1915 Panama World Expo. TeaVivre’s TaiPing HouKui is an excellent example of this fantastic tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have moments when I absolutely crave green tea. Crave. I find this amusing since I’m usually a black tea drinker, but I’ve learned not to question it. Some days are green tea days, and on those days I’m lucky to have teas like this. The Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea from Teavivre is quite good and unique in many ways.

The leaves of this tea are absolutely beautiful. They’re long, wide and bright green but also flat and thin. Their size and color make them nice to watch while steeping, so if you have a glass teapot this would be a lovely served in it.

The feel of the tea is thick and creamy, but the taste is light and deliciously simple. There’s the flavor of green bean with hints of butter. There is also a bit of a grassy flavor that is more of a background note. It plays well off of the vegetal note giving the tea a bright, clean taste.  While this is not an overly sweet tea there is a hint of sweetness throughout the cup that I found pleasant.

I enjoy the juxtaposition of the thickness of the liquid and the subtly of the flavors in this tea. It’s something I will continue to enjoy as summer is winding down, but it’ll also be nice this autumn when I’m looking for thicker, more substantial teas in my cup.

Moroccan Mint Green Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

MoroccanMintTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

A popular tea prepared in the North Africa region, Moroccan Mint is prepared with fresh spearmint leaves and Chinese gunpowder green tea, which is tightly rolled into small pellets. Lemon Verbena is also used to give it a little taste of lemon flavor. We recommend this tea sweetened.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I received this Moroccan Mint Green Tea as part of my Wintertime Sampler Pack that I ordered from M&K’s.  This isn’t a special “seasonal” tea but it is one of the most unique Moroccan Mint teas that I’ve ever tasted!

What makes this one so special?  Well, like some of the best Moroccan Mint teas I’ve tried, the tea base for this is a Chinese Gunpowder Green.  To give it the “Mint” – M&K’s chose not just one minty herb, but two:  spearmint and peppermint.  But then they added Lemon Verbena to give it just a hint of citrus.  That bright, sunny note of lemon gives this crisp, minty drink just the burst of flavor it needs to make it just a little different.

The citrus-y tone isn’t a loud flavor.  It doesn’t overwhelm the flavors that make a Moroccan Mint tea what it should be.  It just adds a little extra to the cup.  I like that!

The Gunpowder green is a smooth green tea with hints of earth.  It’s not overly vegetal.  I think I mentioned in a previous review that I like the combination of gunpowder green teas with mint – that in my mind, this is the making of a true “Moroccan Mint” tea.  Other Moroccan Mint teas that use other teas as a base just seem to miss the mark for me.  It’s a little earthy but not too grassy or vegetative.  It has a light smoky tone in the background.  I find these flavors to be a nice contrast to the cool, crisp notes of the mint without it tasting too “herbaceous.”

I also enjoy the combination of spearmint and peppermint in this blend.  I usually prefer peppermint because it’s a bit more zesty than spearmint, but I like the way these two work together to provide a minty taste to this cup without it tasting too minty.  I’m not drinking mouthwash, I’m drinking tea.  And this tastes like tea with a fresh, cool minty taste.  Perfect.

This is one of the best Moroccan Mint teas I’ve tasted – and in my years as a tea reviewer, I’ve tasted quite a few!

Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea from Teavivre

TaiPing1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

TaiPing HouKui green tea has uniquely long, flat leaves that make an amazing sight when brewed in a clear glass – which we strongly recommend!  The tea is made from one bud with two leaves that come from a large leaf variety of the tea plant found only in Anhui province.  During processing the leaves are pressed flat in an oven, giving the tea its unique shape.

TeaVivre’s TaiPing KouKui has a fresh, orchid like fragrance with a classic sweet green tea taste.  When brewed it has a bright green color, that combine with the size of the leaves to make a tea that is great to admire in a tall clear glass.  This tea is not bitter in the least, and retains its sweet taste even after many infusions.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another sample I was more than happy to review!  Tai Ping is one of my coveted, favorite green teas, probably my favorite of the Chinese green teas.  So when Teavivre sent me this Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea to review … YES!

It has been a little while since I had my last cup of Tai Ping, so I had to think a moment about how I was going to brew it.  While I brew most of my green teas in my Breville One-Touch, I really love to watch the long, beautiful leaves of a Tai Ping tea steep.  I could put them in my gaiwan and leave the lid off of it, but then I wouldn’t get to enjoy the leaves as they begin to stand straight up.

Does it make me a tea nerd that I like to watch this tea brew?  And I kind of emit an excited squeal when the leaves begin to stand up and gently sway in the water?

TaiPing2So I decided to get out my glass teacup.  The same one I brew flowering teas in so that I can watch that cool tea show.  I let the tea brew for 1 minute and 45 seconds in 180°F water.  Then I strained and took my first sip.

The aroma is so gentle and sweet.  It reminds me of early mornings at the beginning of spring, when the new signs of life are starting to show themselves.  On the nights after a spring rain, the morning you step out onto the doorstep and the aroma of the air, fresh and flowery and ‘green’ – I love that smell, and that’s what I smell as I lift this cup to my nose to inhale the fragrance.

The flavor is sublime!  The above description suggests a “classic green tea flavor” and I suppose I get that, but, since that doesn’t really tell you just what I’m experiencing, I think I’ll go into a bit more detail.

The sip begins softly.  A gentle sweetness washes over the palate.  Notes of orchid and hints of sweet grass mingle with a buttery note.  The butter is a sweet, creamy butter taste, and there is a slight creaminess to the texture that accentuates the butter notes.  The finish is slightly dry but only slightly.  This isn’t what I’d refer to as an astringent tea, so if you tend to steer clear of those, you’re safe with this one (and you really SHOULD try it!) The texture is soft … almost fluffy.  Almost vanilla-esque.  Quite nice!  The aftertaste is sweet and I taste that sweetness for quite a while after the sip.

For a truly MEMORABLE cup of tea, I’m of the opinion that you really can’t go wrong with a Tai Ping.  And as Teavivre has proven to me time and time again that they are one of the very top sources for Chinese teas, this would be the place to get yourself some Tai Ping.  And it didn’t escape my notice that this tea is currently 20% off either!  Time to stock up on this freshly harvested tea (it was harvested in April!)