Monkey picked oolong tea is a rare, superior quality oolong grown on high misty mountains of China’s Fujian province. It is a premium tea with a uniquely delicate and light flavor. Its quality is best expressed through the fact that today Chinese describe the best quality oolongs produced from rare wild trees as “monkey picked” oolongs.
The name monkey picked oolong tea indeed arouses curiosity. It is said that long ago in the past, Buddhist monks trained their monkeys to pick tea leaves for them from high mountains of Fujian, which were un-accessible to humans. The monkeys could easily climb these mountains and plucked tea leaves for their masters using their paws. They were skillfully trained to pick only the youngest top two leaves and the bud from the tea plants. These leaves were then partially fermented to produce the famous “monkey picked” oolong tea.
Today tea plucking is done entirely by hand. Producing monkey picked oolong is a labor intensive process which involves hours of hard and meticulous craftsmanship. It is this great deal of human labor involved which makes it one of the most expensive teas.
Monkey picked tea is also known as Ti Kuan Yin tea or the Goddess tea. This quintessential oolong is a must drink for all tea lovers. Its natural earthy taste is a bit like classic aged pu-erh and at the same time, it has a fresh floral aroma. Its partial oxidation gives it a combination of light and dark shades of green. It is neither too green, nor too over cooked-just the right extent of oxidation which coaxes out the most delicate flavor. The leaves are curled up to resemble small pellets.
The tea first needs to be “rinsed” before it is ready for a drinkable brew. It should be steeped for about two to three minutes and this first infusion should be discarded. It is the second infusion which yields a drinkable brew. About a teaspoon of tea should be brewed in 8 oz of water at a temperature of 195-200 degrees. Its small pellets open up slowly and release their savory flavor into the water. The tea can deliver multiple infusions, every subsequent infusion bringing out a different flavor nuance of it. It brews a beautiful golden brew with a smooth body and a delicious fruity flavor of apricots and honey. It has a natural sweetness and tastes best straight up without any added sweetness. It has a mildly toasted flavor which leaves a smooth delicious aftertaste. Its slightly vegetal aroma is a fragrant mix of woodsy scent and orchids. The woodsy notes convey tea plant’s efforts to withstand high altitudes and inclement weather. The tea delivers a seasoned flavor reminding of the intense heat, cold, wind, and fog it had to survive on Wuyi Mountains.
Apart from being a relaxing smooth beverage, this oolong is an extremely revitalizing health drink. It cleanses the body of free radicals and other toxins to maintain a radiant, youthful glow. It prevents formation of ugly lines and wrinkles on face and keeps you looking young and fresh for much longer. Its other major health advantage is in the form of a fat burner. It lowers the absorption of fat from the food and enhances metabolism to induce more fat burn. It is for this reason that monkey picked oolong tea is most preferred with high fat, oily foods. This makes it a potent weigh loss diet supplement and it helps you shed quite a few of those undesirable pounds. It also promotes dental health and prevents gum diseases and tooth decay. Just a few cups of this precious oolong a day let you reap the numerous health benefits from it.