Green Lightning Tai Ping Hou Kui
Fascinating, rare, exquisite, and delicious. This handmade tea from April 2020 we acquired in a *very* small quantity.
We made up the name "Green Lightning" because it sounded cool, and the original name is a bit challenging for Westerners.
This tea is plucked slightly later than the early spring teas to allow for this particular (Tuzhong Shi Da Cha) cultivar's "three leaves and a bud" to expand a bit before hand-plucking. Grown in Houkeng village in Huangshang, Anhui, deep in the mountain, amidst forests in rocky, mineral rich soil.
Hand-crafted by expert women elders who have been doing this process, most of them, for over 20-30 years.
This is a light tea with distinct orchid notes and a really deep, satisfying finish.
This is THE famous tea, not a knock-off and it is clear once you experience the quality.
Water: 185°F | Leaves: 1 tsp per 6 ounce cup | Infusion Time: 3-5 minutes
Basic Steeping Tips
-Avoid oversteeping. Two minutes is often enough.
- Use filtered or spring water, absolutely
- Don’t over-boil water
- If you want stronger tea, use more leaves instead of steeping for a longer time
Green tea has been shown to interfere with the DNA chain of bacteria, slowing the rate of infection at the very least and, in the best scenario, actually killing the bacteria. This also applies to the particular bacteria involved in tooth decay and the production of dental plaque.
After withering and frying, this lovely tea is roasted in a wooden four-drawer cabinet-like structure, with a charcoal pot underneath. Workers carefully adjust the charcoal to make each level of the cabinet a different temperature: the first level at 100 C, the second at 90 C, the third at 80C, and the fourth at 70 C. Batches of leaves are moved between levels of the cabinet, removing their moisture with different levels of heat. The roasting process takes about an hour. Once leaves finish this staggered roasting, workers lay out each leaf flat and press them into their distinct “bookmark” shape using two layers of fine steel screens. Originally, before these steel screens had been invented, Tai Ping Hou Kui makers used sheets of thick paper and the pressure of their hands to press each leaf flat.
Finally, after roasting and shaping, the leaves are allowed to cool down for a few hours before they are consolidated into large batches and roasted one final time to reduce their moisture content to a stable level. After the final roast, tea makers will wrap the finished Tai Ping Hou Kui in cloth or paper and place it in a big ceramic pot. The ceramic pot has limestone at its bottom to absorb moisture. The leaves rest over the limestone, upon a wooden plank padded with large bamboo leaves. A short rest in this traditional storage is the final and most subtle step in Tai Ping Hou Kui’s production. As the leaves rest in this container, they are imbued with the gentle aroma of the Tai Ping County’s bamboo.