Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Teavivre, 2014 Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea

Teavivre Description:
A fabulous tasting green tea from Anhui. With uniquely shaped large flat leaves, TaiPing HouKui is quite different from other green teas and is thought of as one of China's top ten teas. Our tea comes from the village of HouKeng, where the tea was first developed.

Sample provided by Teavivre

My Review:
I previously reviewed the 2012 production of Tai Ping Hou Kui here. Today's review is for the spring 2014 production of Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui. The leaf really is interesting. It looks a bit like green beef jerky, but I'm a guy and beef jerky (and bacon!) is a great visual image to put in our head.

The dry leaf scent is fresh and grassy. I used the entire sample of 5 g in my clear glass teapot and added 12 oz of water heated to 175 F. I let it steep for 2 minutes. The result is a yellow green tinted liquor that is bright and clear. I knew the glass teapot was great for watching the leaf. I was slightly disappointed to learn the smallish opening at the top does not give up the scent of the wet leaf near as well as my press. What scent I  got was vegetal but not dramatic.

Once again I find this tea to verge on bitter and sour without crossing the line. It should be noted, Teavivre says this is not bitter at all. Again this year I attribute that either to a difference in tastes or more likely brewing methods. I followed the western recommendations on the sample package. Possibly had I followed the Chinese gong fu method, using a gaiwan and very short steeps with a small amount of water, the results would be different. I'll try that next time.

The taste is almost dragonwell yet completely different. It is buttery and the flavor is a combination of corn, peas, and light notes of possibly green beans. My sipping preference is pretty much unlike every one else I know. I can't drink anything really hot - beyond a sip. I actually almost always prefer the cup once it has reached just warm and on down to room temperature. This tea is no exception. I catch more notes and find more relaxing enjoyment with this the cooler it becomes.

While Tai Ping Hou Kui is not my favorite Chinese green tea, it is an interesting and delicious cup.

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