The best Tai Ping Hou Kui is grown in the villages of Houkeng, Hougang and Yanjiachun. Teas produced in the surrounding areas are called by the same name, but cost much less.
It’s renowned for its “two knives and one pole”: two straight leaves clasping the enormous bud with white hairs. The oven-made leaves are deep green in color with red veins underneath. The tea shoots can be as long as 15 centimeters. They are plucked from the Shi Da Cha, a large-leaf variety found only in Anhui province.
Falsification is rampant. Factories can produce symmetrical looking Hou Kui tea that looks even better than the authentic handmade variety.