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The Legend of Monkey-Picked Tea

Hot & Cool Trends

By Cari Martens

In the category of special or unusual products, this one is pretty unusual. Monkey Picked Tea. Doesn’t sound that appetizing right off the bat, does it?

Until you hear the legend, which goes something like this:

A monk (not to be confused with a monkey) is walking along with his pet monkey. He gets a real hankering for some tea. Unfortunately, the tea tree branches are too high and the mountain face is too steep. He stops to ponder the situation. The monkey, sensing that his master wants tea, climbs the mountain face, picks the tea leaves and brings them to the monk. The tea tasted so wonderful, other people soon began to train their monkeys to pick the high tea leaves.

This practice has all but died out, except in one small remote Chinese village where the remarkable tradition continues. According to the people who package Monkey Picked Tea, ‘no monkeys are harmed or mistreated in order to bring this rare brew to you.’

We found this tea at ThinkGeek.com. The folks there say the legendary flavor is something that can only be tasted to be believed. Full of antioxidants, they suggest this loose tea ‘will calm your soul, temper your spirit, and put you in divine touch with your monkey ancestors.’ Each bag makes about 28 servings of tea. It sells for $19.99.

Hey, it makes a good conversation starter, if nothing else.

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