Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #34 - Golden Monkey

Category: Black Tea

Purveyor: Upton Tea

Dry leaf appearance: Dark greenish-brown leaves with smaller, irregular sized bits as well. (My camera color is a bit off and shows the tea as more green than brown.) Lots of color variation with a good portion of lighter brown leaves.

Wet leaf appearance: The larger leaves opened to what I think of as true "tea leaf" size. The smaller pieces had a very choppy appearance.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 4 minutes.

Scent: Funny, but the dry tea smelled like a freshly opened box of Red Rose Tea! The steeped tea had slight smoky/nutty notes and smelled like the traditional hot teas I grew up drinking (over ice).

Color: Medium copper brown.

Flavor: I've become so fond of the lighter teas I wondered if I could happily go back to black, but yes, I can. This tea had a very pleasant, smooth taste. Nice mouth feel, only slight astringency. I'm happy with my steeping time (4 minutes from the suggested 4 to 5). I don't like my teas that strong, so this was a perfect choice for me and I could easily drink this tea without milk.

Additional notes: I'm glad Michael Harney explained that with most Chinese teas, the first name refers to the place of origin and the second to the style of tea leaf. Keemun Mao Feng, for instance, is a Mao Feng style tea from Keemun, he says. And the "monkey" part of Golden Monkey? It's for marketing purposes only and is "meant to suggest a high-quality tea."

Next week's tea: Panyong Golden Needle


  1. Golden Monkey is one of my favorites. I like the slight smokiness and that it is one of the few black teas that I can enjoy without milk.

    Thanks for your review of the Golden Monkey tea.

  2. Angela, I very seldom comment on the tea tastings but I do read them each week and you have become so educated with your comments. Its almost like tasting the teas ourselves. Thanks for your very descript comments- you're really going to be a good Tea Master one day.

  3. Yeah, Monkey names do denote quality. But watch out. They can offend people from those tea gardens when the name is something like "Monkey-Picked" tea. It implies there's something inhuman about the women who pick that tea so patiently all day for a dollar or two. Not only are they beautiful and worthy people, but we all depend on them to bring us our tea. --Spirituality of Tea


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