Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bellocq Tai Ping Hou Kui

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: extremely broad and flat
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 5 minutes
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale gold

I have been utterly fascinated with this tea and I was unable to resist the urge when I finally visited this Brooklyn tea shop. The leaves are broad and flat, like a super sized Dragonwell. It was unlike anything that I had ever seen. According to Bellocq's website, it is flattened by being pressed between mesh with a roller during a low fire baking process. On many of the leaves I was actually able to see the pattern left behind by the mesh. How cool is that? The owner of Bellocq's description of this tea was spot on. He told me that while steeping it smells like a pile of leaves before you jump into it and that it tastes like butternut squash. I don't really think that I could sum up this tea any better than that. It was incredibly sweet and fresh tasting without being overtly vegetal. There was just a hint of smoke and although the finish was somewhat dry, there was no bitterness. My second infusion was just as delicious. I have a feeling that I will be going through my small stash of this tea very quickly.

You can find out more about this tea here.
If you look closely, you can see the texture left by the mesh
Look at those gorgeous long leaves

2 comments:

  1. Tai Ping Hou Kai is quite a unique tea. I presented and steeped this tea as part of my Tea Sommelier certification process. I bought some on my last trip to China years ago, but all gone now. Thanks for the review, now I know where to pick some up...make it a weekend trip to NYC maybe :)

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  2. It has quickly become one of my favorites. Bellocq is such a beautiful store. It is definitely worth the trip if you are ever in the area. Let me know if you do. I'm just a quick train ride away in NJ :)

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