Golden Monkey from Tea N Joy. . ..

I’m not always the right tea taster for the special harvest, unflavored tea samples, as much as I wish I were overjoyed about a pu erh cake or a shade-grown green tea.  That said, I’ve definitely come to enjoy black teas with golden tips, so I was excited to brew up a cup of Golden Money from Tea N Joy.

It’s hard to resist an animal-inspired tea name.  I’ve tried oolongs called “Monkey-Picked” because of the treacherous areas where the trees grow. Golden Monkey sounds like a tea named for a beautiful blond-haired monkey.  This tea is actually named for the golden tips of the tea, and the fact that the leaves are sharply curved, like monkey claws.

Brewed, this tea is smooth and chocolatey, even after only a short brew.  The tea doesn’t taste exactly a chocolate bar, but there is a distinct sweet herbal flavor that brings to mind dark chocolate.  On my second steep, I gave the leaves a longer steep time, and even with the added brew time, the strength of the cacao notes don’t overpower the silky, mellow black tea base.  This tea is full and rich, very drinkable with lots of subtle sweet flavors that open up the more you drink.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a tea connoisseur, do yourself a favor and try a cup of Golden Monkey from Tea N Joy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea N Joy
Description: Golden Monkey Tea is hand-processed each spring with a careful plucking of only one leaf and one bud. It is among the finest Chinese Black Teas available today. A rich, full-bodied Tea. The name comes from its unique appearance: the leaves resemble monkey claws. Sweet and very ‘nosy’ with the aromas of: savory roasted apples, cocoa and spice notes that linger as you sip. Rich, coating texture and very smooth, soft mouth-feel. Delicate, almost indistinguishable astringency.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Xi Ding Oolong Tea – Tea from Taiwan. . . . .

Hello, readers! I am here to bring you another oolong tea but from a company that really knows their stuff. According to the website, they have been in business for a good twelve years so to me that is impressive. Now what got me to try out this tea out of all the others on my tea shelf is that I felt that I have never given pure oolong tea a chance. I know that my sister drinks almost five cups of it a day so in lieu of the other oolong blends that I have tried I figured why not give a pure cup a chance?

As the site details, this oolong has a very distinct taste. It is very pungent when you first open the bag but don’t let that deter you for it mellows out when it is brewed. This brew does have a mellow, subtle start but it finishes with a sweet aftertaste. A sweet that I cannot put my finger on. I would say that this tea for me personally would be a builder tea, the best ingredient that I can think of off the top of my head would have to be a mint of some sort. I think that spearmint would be the best, for its sweetness would be a perfect compliment to the oolong.

Now for prices, I can’t be exact since all their oolong blends are named by their time of harvest. The best estimate I have for you is to base it off the Li Shan Feng Oolong tea which the top three prices are as follows; $36.99 for 75 grams, 150 grams for $69.99, and 300 grams for $134.99. But don’t fret for it looks like their samples retail for around $4.59 which is good for about 2-3 cups.

In conclusion, I think this is a great tea and tea company to try out if you are out for an authentic oolong tea. It is a pretty penny but for the authentic oolong consumer, I think this brand should be at least worth a shot.

See you for the next cuppa!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea from Taiwan

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

 

Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black from Postcard Teas. . . .

What is better to a tea lover than to have a little extra time in the morning in which one may prepare a simple breakfast and steep the perfect tea pairing for it, taking time to truly experience the cup? I am thus blessed this morning.

While I usually have a sensible breakfast, I am craving waffles this morning, buttered and doused with real maple syrup, warmed. This requires a tea that can cut through the sweetness and assert itself, but I am not a fan of harsh tea that must be tamed with milk and sugar.

Enter Master Matsumoto’s Supernatural Black from Postcard Teas in London. This is a Japanese black tea grown without chemicals, without pesticides or herbicides, even without manure. Thus, “super natural” in the way it is grown.

This is not your average black breakfast tea! While it is a Camellia sinensis sinensis varietal, the taste is of a fruity second flush Darjeeling. There is an aftertaste of light malt with a tingle on the tongue. The flavor lingers for quite a long time, with a little rush of fruity sweet/sour muscat rising with each breath, and finally a rising sweetness in the throat such as often follows a brisk green tea. The briskness persists. The flavor continues. I think a lover of Darjeeling tea owes it to themselves to try this one.

The leaves re-steep very nicely, adding economy to its virtues if the price has you troubled. I like to combine the first and second steep so I really only need a teaspoon of leaf to have a couple of cups of very satisfying tea, plus having both steeps made and on the table means I can enjoy without going back to the kitchen to re-steep.

This is one of those teas that you buy because life is short, and it would be a shame not to experience something fine now and then. This tea will be on my mind for a long time.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Postcard Teas
Description

An unusually aromatic Japanese black tea from Kumamoto area of Kyushu in Japan. The tea is made on a small 8 acre farm in Minamata-shi by 4th generation tea maker Master Matsumoto, who uses his great grandfather’s 90 year old Yabukita ancient tea trees grown without any chemicals, herbicides, fertilisers, or even manure – hence the tea grows ‘supernaturally’.

This is one of the most versatile black teas we have, combining some of the best qualities of Darjeeling, Assam and Chinese teas and adding something extra of its own. The tea has the aromatic qualities of a second flush Darjeeling and a plum/prune sweetness which comes out more when brewed lightly, but when brewed strong it tastes like the richest, smoothest Assam or Breakfast tea without any astringency or tannins. It can also take milk very well if required.

Sufficiently unusual to interest a seasoned tea drinker but familiar and comforting enough for someone just getting into specialty black tea – if we had to recommend just one black tea in our selection to someone overwhelmed by choice then this would be it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dragon Tea from Transcendence Tea. . . .

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tried this tea. It’s a loose leaf tea with pretty big leafs. It didn’t have much of a smell, so I figured it would be pretty mild. I brewed it in my new little teapot that was gifted to me. It makes tea drinking so much more of an event you know? I was so pleasantly surprised when I took my first sip and it had a slightly sweet aftertaste. I have had it both warm and iced and it’s delicious either way. The sweetness is barely there, it’s just a little whisper after you’ve swallowed. It’s mild and refreshing and needs no sweetener.

This tea does have caffeine so it’s best for morning or early afternoon, and it’s a really nice way to start the day.

According to the company’s website, this tea is full of vitamin C and amino acids that can help energize us when we need the help.

This tea is called Longjing, which translates to Dragon tea is a variety of green tea which has been pan roasted. It’s very beneficial and as I mentioned very refreshing.

This is the green tea for people who want the health benefits but find regular green tea too earthy and bitter!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Transcendence Tea
Description

DRAGON also known as Long Jing tea is almost as famous as the beast it is named after, being one of the most renowned teas in China. Grown close to the West Lake in Hangzhou; Long Jing tea is surrounded by mountains, forests, and creeks – truly a Dragon’s playground. With a sweet taste and little bitterness; Long Jing will make you strong and as resilient, as a DRAGON…..

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blissful Buds from Mellow Monk . . . .

Tea has become more of a mindfulness exercise for me lately, rather than simply a means to caffeination. I reverently begin this tasting by getting on the level with the loose, green grinds. Dry leaves are sweet-smelling like a japanese tea.  They tease me with something that almost smells of raspberry, though I know there is none in this blend.

After brewing the tea leaves got much lighter in color and presented a cloudy olive-green infusion with lots of tiny stowaways from the gravity brewer into my cup.

I cannot stress enough, as with all green and white teas, watch your temperature or you will be drinking something akin to Satan’s bath water (to put it nicely).

I started off with my usual 175F for 2 min but was caught off guard by the bitter chemical type taste. I’d overbrewed it, serious bummer. The leaves were ruined and I’d have to start again from scratch. My second try was with half the steep time. Better tasting, but still a tannic nirvana (different from Darjeeling though). Not my cup of tea. You know those monks are seriously being tested when they drink a tea this strong all day. It for sure keeps them awake in church! I certainly couldn’t keep a vow of silence after drinking it.

As proud as I am of my scientific problem solving approach, I should’ve just read the package instructions. At 160F and right around a minute brew time, the third try was a charm. This delicate leaf brews strong! Tangy still, with a long lingering pucker-worthy aftertaste. But much more palatable than Satan’s bathwater. Upon resteeping, it was a much different flavor because a bit more of the sweetness came out.

This blend is described as sweet like other Japanese teas but that was not my experience, even with a cold brew attempt. But on a good note, I learned my lesson about reading the package instructions. Thank you monks!


Here’s the scoop!

Type of Tea:  Green
Where to Buy:  Mellow Monk
Description:

Blissful Buds™ is made by picking the small young buds at the pinnacle of the tea plant — the leaves richest in catechins. These tender leaves yield a refreshingly sweet infusion, redolent of apples, with berry-like tangy overtones and much less astringency than conventional senchas. This type of tea is also served at the end of a meal at fine Japanese restaurants. (In sushi lingo, this type of tea is referred to as agari.)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!