Taiping houkui green tea is a traditional Chinese staple green tea. Taiping is the name of the county in China from where it was originated. Houkui literally translates to monkey king and hence it is also known as monkey tea.
The leaves of Houkui measures approximately 60 mm, which makes it the longest tea leaf among other green tea.
It has a slight orchid scent with a smooth taste which remains even after brewing three times. The houkui green tea unfurls beautifully when kept in water and imparts a light yellowish color.
How is monkey tea made?
Taiping houkui is grown exclusively in Hou-keng, Hou-cun and Yan-jia in the Anhui Province. The twigs which have one bud and roughly four leaves are plucked for producing this tea.
Harvesting is done once a year during spring season for a period of two weeks. After collecting, the tea is made by hand the same day.
The color of houkui can be described as a blend of dark green or yellowish green.
How is monkey tea different from other teas?
The leaves of Taiping houkui are unlike any other green tea leaves. They are big, thick and pale green with wavy edges.
Unlike other green tea types, Houkui does not go through any rolling process. It is dried out at once using bamboo baskets and heated at a variety of temperatures.
Taiping houkui green tea has abundant amino acid because of its high-elevation cultivation which provides shade from direct sunlight.
How to make taiping houkui green tea (Monkey tea)?
What You’ll Need
- 250 ml water
- 2 cups
- A tea pot made from stainless steel or glass
- About 5 grams of Taiping houkui green tea
- Rinse a glass with boiling water to warm the glass.
- Put the leaves into the glass and pour boiling water over it so that the leaves are covered. But don’t pour all 250 ml at once.
- Let it steep for 1 minute.
- Pour the remaining water and brew for a couple of minutes.
The tea leaves can be re-used for about 5 times.
Health Benefits of Taiping Houkui Green Tea (Monkey Tea)
Taiping Houkui leaves contain various compounds and minerals including catechins, amino acids, potassium, magnesium and copper. This tea offers similar health benefits like green tea. Some of them are:
High Amino Acid Content
Taiping houkui is grown in hillside at high elevations which are shaded from sunlight. Because of this, the leaves retain a high level of amino acids such as theanine.
Helps You Lose Weight
Polyphenols such as catechins are also abundant in houkui green tea. EGCG and other catechins can help you lose weight by speeding up fat oxidation and increasing your daily energy expenditure. 
Helps You Relax
The mellow taste of Taiping houkui is because of its theanine content. Theanine is an amino acid which is abundant in most green teas. The theanine content in houkui green tea promotes relaxation, alertness and improves focus. 
Side effects of monkey tea
May Be Harmful to Pregnant Women
The caffeine content in houkui green tea might have adverse effects during pregnancy. High caffeine level in body during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage or premature delivery and might cause problems in conceiving. However, if you want to this tea or any other caffeine containing teas, limit your consumption to 2-3 cups a day. 
If you drink houkui green tea or any other kind of green tea on an empty stomach, it can bring on gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis and constipation. This is because of tannins found in green tea. 
Reacts with Certain Drugs
One should be cautious before drinking any type of green tea, especially if he or she is taking any kind of medicines. Consult your physician before drinking any green tea if you are under medication.