Grown in the Fujian province of China this very rare black tea is extremely hard to come by. According to ‘tea lore’, the Camellia bushes that produced this tea grew on the side of lofty and precipitous peaks and locals trained monkeys to harvest the leaves.
Alternatively, the name may come from its unique appearance; the leaves are felt to resemble monkey paws.
It is hand-processed each spring with careful plucking of only one leaf and one bud. This is felt to be a black counterpart to the Silver Needles tea also from Fujian and as such should be treated with a small degree of reverence.
Ideally sample this tea on its own without the addition of milk or sugar, giving you a chance to appreciate its character, a light, honeyed sweet delicacy, with its lack of any astringency.