What do we know about monkey tea…?

Peppermint tea room in the heart of Brussels doesn’t serve only peppermint tea. Surprise! Something one wouldn’t expect to see on the menu is monkey tea.


But what is monkey tea? The owners of the place could not answer.

Apparently, this goes back to the 18th century legend that tells how monks were training monkeys to pick the best – youngest – tea buds from the very top of wild oolong tea trees on a cliff. It was an exclusive tea enjoyed by Chinese Emperor Qian Long before it became accessible to the general public.

Today it simply refers to a high grade (high quality) oolong tea that is handpicked and processed with care. Others argue that it has always been just a sales trick. Whatever the true story is, this monkey-picked tea is expensive: 50 grams of it costs over $30 on Amazon. But you can just as well drop by Peppermint tea room and get a cup to taste before committing to it.

Some pictures from the tea room:





In Brussels? Give it a go at:


Rue des Grands Carmes 11 – 1000 BRUSSELS


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