164 Tasting Notes
I saw this when it was brand new on Teavivre’s website and didn’t hesitate to order 100 grams of it. I had never had a Golden Monkey before but have heard good things about them and was curious.
The leaves were not quite as golden as I expected them to be, but the dry leaf put off a pleasant malty aroma not unlike the Bailin Gongfu black also from Teavivre. I’ve tried this hot quite a few times now and I’m not getting much complexity from the tea. I expected sweet potato and honey flavors along with malty qualities but all I’m really getting is malt. Still, it’s a nice and comforting grainy and malty flavor, just not quite what I was expecting.
Last night, I set up a pitcher to cold brew overnight, and today at noon (12 hours later) I gave it a try. The flavor is TOTALLY different cold brewed. It’s a bit hard to describe. I do get a little hint of sweet potato this way but the brew is more astringent, and there’s also a little bit of what I would call a metallic taste and a slight fruity flavor. As strange as that may sound, I’m finding this to be a very refreshing iced tea and in my opinion, this tea shines most cold-brewed.
I went on a bit of an Ito En shopping spree at Wegman’s today and got quite a few of their more spendy teas (this one, Uji Kabuse, Silver Needle, and a Darjeeling). This one sounded interesting to me because it’s pan-fired which is unusual for a Japanese green.
The dry leaf is slightly curled as opposed to the flat needle shape of most Japanese greens, but the deep green color is as one would expect from a Japanese green. The scent of the dry leaf is intense BUTTER (oh yeah!). As for the flavor, it’s very good. Silky and a bit brothy as I expected it would be, with a pleasant bittersweet nature and a definite hint of citrus like the description says. Great stuff.
I returned from my trip to Boston today and I’m glad to be home. It was a cool city with a lot of interesting things, but I have to say that I am NOT a city person. Being in big cities just makes me feel so crowded in…too many people, too many huge buildings towering over me, too much noise, too much traffic. I’ll take a quiet life in a small town instead. :) Still, it was great to experience a new place. I also took a little day trip up to Maine while I was in the New England area and saw some cool beaches and lighthouses. Sadly, I never got the chance to visit the tea stores that Michelle told me about.I’m a little late in logging this as I’m now on the fourth steeping of this, but I’ve been enjoying it very much and I really missed this one. I loved it so much when I ordered it as a sample a couple of months ago that I decided to order 100 grams of it. It’s very earthy but in a mellow and smooth way, lots of what I would call mushroom flavor with a little bit of chocolate and sweetness. It’s still going strong on the fourth steep and I can see it going for at least two more. I missed all of you guys while I was gone :).
After a six-hour car ride, I’m finally in Boston to visit some family. They had a few teas in the house, most of which weren’t loose leaf, but this is one of the ones that was and I thought it sounded like a nice calming tea after a stressful day and it certainly was. I’m turning to white teas for moments of calm more and more recently, and this blend was very good for that purpose. The subtle flavor of the white peony blends perfectly with the light floral notes of the jasmine pearls and rosebuds (of which there is just the right amount to make it a light floral accent rather than an overpowering aroma). Very nice. I’ll have to see what kinds of tea shops I can find around Boston.
My samples from Amanda came today, thanks so much to her. This is one of the ones that she gave me because she didn’t like it, and I have to say I’m glad about that because I think it’s great (though I can understand why some people might not like it). It’s definitely smokey and full bodied, with hints of chocolate and a little sweetness to round out the smokiness. I love it, thanks Amanda.
I sun brewed a big jug of this today and iced it, and let me say that plain ol’ green rooibos is a must-try for iced tea this summer. It’s crisp, light and extremely refreshing with a little bit of a natural fruity flavor. To make things even better, this stuff is CHEAP. I paid around twelve dollars for a full pound on Amazon. Great iced tea for summer.
I’m liking this one a little better tonight, I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for it last night. Smooth Chinese green tea flavor with that sweet rice flavor accompanying it, not bad. I’ll bump the rating up a little bit.
I’m in need of some new teas, is anybody feeling generous and willing to send me some samples? ;)
Drinking this as a bit of a celebration cup, I just got my scores back for the SAT’s and I scored in the 86th percentile. I’m so happy and relieved and the deep and refreshing vegetal flavor and caffeine kick of this tea are making for a very happy me.
I was surprised to see that Ito En also carries some Chinese, Indian and other teas besides just Japanese green tea. I thought this sounded interesting so I took the plunge and bought some. Smelling the dry tuocha, it reminded me of the smell of Verdant’s Cornfields Shu Tuocha which I absolutely LOVE. So I brewed up the tea, let it cool a little bit and started sipping. I’ve gotta say that I was a bit bored by this tea. I’m sure there are other people who would enjoy it because it did seem to be good quality, I’m just not sure I’m a big fan of sheng pu-erh. It tasted like a typical mellow Chinese green tea with a little bit of a salty taste to it along with the flavor of rice cakes and a little sweetness. Now that may sound good on paper, but to me it was just “meh”. Like I said, this is a quality tea and I’m sure that other people would enjoy it, it just seems a little boring to me. It’s the oatmeal of the tea world.
I bought this and four other Japanese greens from Ito En recently and this is the one I keep reaching for because it’s just so much better than the rest, it’s not even fair. Light and fresh with a subtle creaminess, bright citrus notes and a little bit of sweetness. This is a vibrant, juicy tea that induces feelings of calmness and joy. That’s just what I need right now too, because I’m currently in the midst of withdrawal from a severe nicotine dependence that I finally decided it was time to end. I’m trying to implement a lot of positive changes in my life right now, and my beloved camellia sinensis will help me every step of the way.