I have a question about monkey picked oolong. I seem to be getting conflicting answers as to whether it is a top grade for Tie Guan Yin only or whether it is a top grade for all oolong teas? What do you think is the correct answer? Has the answer evolved to have a broader definition now due to marketing purposes than maybe its original intent?
Monkey picked means it was picked by monkeys. But from what I have read while the monkeys are superior tea pickers there skill is at selecting the most tender buds is only matched by the most skilled (human) tea masters. But the down side to this is the small amount of monkey feces that inevitably ends up in every cup. I believe the Chinese gov't deems it acceptable for monkey picked tea to contain up to 0.5% monkey feces and still be safe for human consumption. Which is way better than the allowable levels of rat feces in McDonald's ---well ----- pretty much there whole menu.
And we won't even get into how inhumane it is to force monkeys to pick tea they are not even allowed to drink. They are forced to work in atrocious working conditions and are paid literally bananas. ChETA-(Chinese for the ethicle treatment of animals )has been trying to shut down this horrible Industry for years.