Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Teavivre
Coming from Fujian, the Golden Monkey is made of the fresh buds and leaves of Fuding Pekoe, by lightly sun withering, rolling, fermentation and drying. Golden Monkey has the particular aroma of black tea. You could scent the fruity flavor through every sip of the tea.
The golden hairy tips truly make this tea more attractive. This is one reason why it is called Golden Monkey. Another reason is its monkey-claw-liked shape of the dry tea, which is in golden and black color. When brewed, the Golden Monkey Tea tastes brisk and smooth for the first sip, presenting a distinctive flavor. If you like stronger flavor, you could brew for a longer time. The sweet aftertaste could act faster for thicker liquid. You could only feel it when trying by yourself.
Learn more about this tea here.
In my opinion, Golden Monkey is a Teavivre classic – one that all tea lovers (and particularly black tea lovers) should try at some point. It’s a cupboard staple for me, perfect in any season, and at any time of the day or night. It’s a real comfort tea, for me. Reliable, versatile, and tasty to boot! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my current cup, and gave it approximately 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is lightly golden, the scent sweet and malty with an underlying hint of grain. I’m drinking it without additions today, hence the reasonably low steep time on this occasion, but it also works well with a 4 minute brew and a splash of milk.
One of the reasons I like this one so much is its almost intensely chocolatey initial flavour. It’s like a square of high quality dark chocolate; bittersweet, with an edge of dark, dry cacao. The malty notes emerge in the mid-sip, and make this a much sweeter prospect, which becomes a little reminiscent of molasses. It’s by no means overpowering, though – there’s just a hint of something treacley lurking in the background. Notes of baked bread, grain and a light nuttiness develop towards the end of the sip, along with a smooth caramel richness.
I like that this can be a layered, nuanced cup without milk – there’s a lot to taste, but it all somehow works together to create a flavourful, full-bodied cup that’s immensely satisfying. It’s a little more generic with milk, which seems to flatten some of the flavours and drown others, but I can enjoy it either way. A cup with milk typically features, for me, a stronger note of baked bread, a little chocolate, and a similar level of malt and grain. It’s a slightly altered, less intense flavour profile, but sometimes that’s exactly what I want. Golden Monkey is tea that suits any mood. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never look back.
I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.
I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they're the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer -- their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.
I'm still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don't think they'll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don't hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm also beginning to explore pu'erh, both ripened and raw. That's my latest challenge!
I'm still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.