10 Tasting Notes
I wish I had not read the reviews of this cuppa tea. It seems to be quite a few people’s favorite without exaggeration. Just looking at the color and the suggestion brewing times, I sense that this one is made for milk and sugar. I picked it up at World Market, after a friend who visits family in the UK highly recommended it. At the store I am usually a Twinings man, still missing the good ole Russian Caravan that is no longer available in the states. So I picked it up 2 pyramids, 3 minutes, at boiling, with a teaspoon of Stevia.
Oh yeah, this is what I would call an Orwellian cup of tea. First off, strong and bitter, begs milk and even more sugar. It is not a deep or a complex taste at all, but it is what people say, a very good and basic tea. It does have a ‘watery space’ that sometimes happens with some teas. But it is a good taste and I would say the closest thing I have had to coffee in a tea- that same color, bitterness, and presence as the bean counterpart.
Will this be, as so many people on here call it, my everyday tea? The ease of purchase, strong taste and color make that a possibility. However, a drop of milk or two will decide everything.
Note: I do admit, this tea would make a great iced tea.
Easily the darkest tea I have ever brewed. I would say beyond black, more opaque than any other I have. It was also a pleasant/unpleasant surprise. I would not have minded the mint if it would have been on the box, no it did not say a thing about mint. I could taste the vanilla somewhere underneath the mint. For this tea, everything is disturbingly underneath the mint. This is my first Pu-erh, a shame its drowned in mint. Other than that a very enjoyable brew. Not sure if there will be a second infusion.
Energy in cinnamon! Samurai were robust yet delicate warriors that could just as easily clip the branch of a bonsai as slice a man’s head off. This brew is no different. There is strength beneath the layers of cinnamon (perhaps too may layers and is one of the few things that brings this review down) which is no doubt the matte giving the whole thing an immense base. But if not for the slight high levels of spice this would be a perfect perfect cup. I give it an 80 (hoping the scale will reflect that).
Samurai Chai Matte only loses points in cinnamon and that it is offered by the rather high-priced-Starbucks-owned Teavana.
Can’t wait to try it with rum!
Dark amber is the first thing I can think about this tea. Great smell out of the bag, light with very malty flavors. This is a deep black tea. Not so much in flavor, or caffeine content but rather in body and color. This tea has no empty spaces that some teas out there have. You sip the tea and notice on the palate or on the tongue that there is a space, this tea has no empty space. This is one of the maltiest teas I have ever had, awesome for those into a real brew.
Bit of a problem was, as the tea cooled from a rather high 212 degrees, a bitterness did happen, only slight. I would recommend a lower temperature. But Rishi does seem to be a rather good company for tea.
Ok, this is weird. My second steep of this Monkey has far outweighed the first. It has no bite, surely no caffeeine, but it has bloomed incredibly. The malt and maple are deeper now and I sense something more than the original tea itself. The color is the same, perhaps lighter, more red than black. But the taste is the same but without the caffeine film.
It could be that the caffeine masks the full flavor of tea?
Can it be that the shadow is better than the caster?
There is no doubt in my mind that Golden Monkey, at least by Starbuck’s Teavana is much better the second time, unless you need the caffeine. If that stimulant is needed than no doubt the first infusion will be ideal. At the end of that one the sides of caffeine goodness are quite apparent. But like beauty that has no reason to impress, this monkey really stands out in flavor when the caffeine has dripped out of her. There, there is only taste and it is a wondrous taste I must say. I wonder how Adagio’s Golden Monkey stands up to this?
NOTE: First Steep 69, Second- 89!
I brewed this primate hot, very hot, going with my Taylor Tea temperature/timer suggestion rather than the whisper of time and temperature the tin at teavana suggestion. Dry, the tea had a glorious smell, very sweet, admiring some of the blonde curls of tea.
It steeped wide and I used three teaspoons since the leaves were so large that they hardly fit in the tiny cup.
The first steep tasted exactly the way the tea smelled in the tin, which I found to be quite rare indeed. There was no bitterness, strong nut and maple flavor, drunk with a teaspoon of Stevia. Though I was surprised, considering the time brewed and the amount, it was not strong. Not at all, dare I say- subtle. This could be that I am accustomed to rather strong tea dust- bags.
EDIT: Warning, this is a rather brainy tea. No doubt expands the imagination. Also after it cooled the tea had a very strong maple flavor- quite welcome I must say!
Followed some advice, lower temperature (just under rolling), more tea (three spoons for 2 cups), shorter brew time (3 minutes) and it has worked wonders on my Lapsong. The dark amber of the two was in full swing by 3 minutes, almost looking like rooibos. It was smokey but no bitterness in the end. In fact the end tasted like water, perhaps too thin?
The second steeping (3 minutes), this time no sugar, tasted of green tea, wondrous, and the smoke has settled to a low ember, not burning at all- excellent to the palate.
This tea for me has been like a strange abusive relationship. I have some in the cupboard which is about 2 years or more and I can finally start enjoying it. It is like Perique tobacco, better mixed than by itself.
I enjoy it immensely with 2 parts Irish breakfast to 1 part Lapsong and another part of Caramel or dark sugar. Very complex.