2809 Tasting Notes


One of two teas I purchased at the Aroma Tea Shop last week. I think the golden monkey is quickly becoming one of my favorite tea types.

Yesterday I had brewed this Western style but this morning I’m using my gaiwan. It seems like 60 seconds is about all I really need in steeping this one. The dry leaves are slender and curved and the aroma is exactly that of chocolate. The tea is a dark reddish orange and is BOLDER than some other golden monkeys I’ve tried.

At 60 seconds, the first steep is very chocolate-y with a slight bitterness in the finish but nothing that puts me off of the flavor too much. I thought maybe I had steeped this one slightly too long.

At 45 seconds, the 2nd steep has mellowed out considerably and still has cocoa notes but with a smoother finish and now I am getting more of the honey sweet aftertaste that the description has. This is an easy tea to sip on plain but is also nice with a bit of soymilk added because then it becomes more of a creamy cocoa.

At 30 seconds, the 3rd steep is definitely lighter and I think I might have preferred the 45 second steep, but it’s always good to play around with your parameters a bit. Here I’m getting a bit more of the sweeter notes I’d associate with a golden monkey.

I will easily be able to get 4 or 5 steeps out of this tea so while it isn’t the cheapest tea I’ve ever bought, it is definitely a good value.

Flavors: Cocoa

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Doug F

A good Golden Monkey is one of my favorites as well, though I’m a committed mono-steeper.


Normally I am too but it depends on the price of the tea!


I bought this last year and it is a good all around tea. I started out going western then gaiwan and have settled on a 110 cc yixing pot. The yixing gives quick steeps with concentrated cocoa and honey. I use 5 grams @ 212F first steep is in and out then ,10, 15, 20, 30, 40 50, 60 after that the tea starts to pale.


thanks for the info Big Daddy. I don’t have a yixing for black teas, maybe I need one :)

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Yay, my Butiki order arrived yesterday. I’ve been wanting to try some different assams and figured Butiki would be a good place to do some experiments. This looks like a good morning tea.

This isn’t one I would drink straight, plain it has a definite briskness and brightness with some pungency in the finish, it seems really assertive for my taste. It’s really good with milk and sugar added and I guess that’s the way most people drink assams anyway. This reminds me a lot of an East Frisian tea.

I enjoyed reading this article this morning on Northern German tea culture. Perhaps I will try preparing my tea like that someday. :)


Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

i really enjoyed that article, thanks for sharing it. i didn’t know the why of EF, so it helped clarify that a bit.

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drank Coco Chai Rooibos by DAVIDsTEA
2809 tasting notes

This is a pretty good chai rooibos but like a lot of David’s tea blends, it seems to have the issue of the artificial flavoring being a bit too strong. It is definitely very spicy, I get a lot of strong elements of ginger and peppercorn in here that are strong enough to knock you over, I kind of like that. I think maybe it’s the coconut flavoring in here that seems a bit “fakey” but this is pretty good with soymilk, etc. Someday I need to place an order with Rishi to get my favorite chai rooibos back in stock. I think I might stop buying flavored teas from David’s unless I can get them as samples.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
2809 tasting notes

This is my green tea of the morning. Normally I don’t go in so much for tart things, but it’s a pretty zesty flavor if you really like grapefruit. this one can be a little strong for me and sometimes I wish it could be toned down a bit, I guess i could always try underleafing it a bit.

I’m hoping the theanine in this green tea help me with my anxieties, I’m having a hard time to get my dr.‘s office to communicate with my office about my current diability. I’m still not sure if they will let me come back part time. It’s been an amazingly annoying process for me as I only have a set amount of time to get the paperwork filled out and the doctor’s office does not legally have to do anything I ask them to do in a timely fashion. I may have a lot of free time on my hands in the upcoming months… oh well!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
2809 tasting notes

I’m still fiddling with this one trying to find the perfect balance and how to brew it. Today I tried around 190 F for 3 minutes and it definitely seems less bitter but also less black tea flavor. Perhaps a longer steeping time would help? stay tuned…. lol

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
2809 tasting notes

Tea of the morning here…

I am not quite sure about this one. This was another one I got at Maison d’Etre yesterday. I wanted to try another MF tea and this just smelled so good in the tin, like tangerine candy of some sort. I am not quite sure about the flavor though. I get a lot of orange but also some bitterness. It’s difficult to tell if there’s bergamot in here or if the bitterness is due to the green tea in this blend. Instructions say to brew at 205 F and that’s about the temperature I used. I think I’ll try using a sightly lower steeping time to see if that makes a difference. For now I think it’s ok but considering the price I paid for it, it’s a bit of a let down.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I green breakfast tea?! I thought they were only blacks! I have recently been enjoying MF’s French Breakfast tea, which was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect to like it, but got a sample anyway.
I think you may be right about adjusting the temp and time. I find MF teas to taste WAY better with short steeps.


Wait a minute… you are in the Bay! Check out The Pasta Shop (I think it is in Berkeley). I was there a year and a half ago and they had 15-20 MF teas sold in bulk which is perfect for sampling before investing in a tin. They also sell tins and are next to Teance.


It’s a black/green blend and thanks for the tip on the Pasta shop

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Herbal tisane of the evening here…

There is a store called Maison d’Etre near the Rockridge BART station that is really cute and full of housewares, jewelry and some specialized tea that is difficult for me to find elsewhere. I should never take my BF tea shopping with me because he can’t understand why I need to buy more tea, he he! Of course that did not stop me.

Anyway I was intrigued by this blend, it seemed like a very nice herbal from what I could tell from the package and it smells really good. It’s a blend of tulsi, flowers and some chai like spices. The flavor is a bit too floral for my personal taste but otherwise I think it’s pretty good. I don’t really know that is was worth the price I paid for it ($14 for 2 oz) but I’m glad I got the chance to try it. Kind of wishing I could get the Bellocq teas in a sample size, I would definitely be interested in trying them all.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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A nice sunny day calls for a nice sunny tea…

I went for a long walk today and ended up doing some tea tastings at Aroma Tea Shop but it’s a little too late in the day to drink the black teas I bought so I thought I’d focus on a nice anti-inflammatory drink instead. I really like this turmeric tea, it’s got green rooibos in it to help cut the flavor of the turmeric but that’s all about I really taste here aside from the saffron and a bit of ginger. yum yum!

Speaking of yummy I went to Burma Superstar today too and had the fiery tofu which was super tasty as well as a pot of ginger tea with fresh lemon slices. :)

4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I believe this is the last sample I have yet to try from the Joseph Wesley samples I got.

This might be my favorite of the bunch as it smells very aromatic after steeping, sort of like freshly baked bread or a cake of some sorts. I lost track of time while I was steeping this and don’t know exactly how long it was. Anyway this is extremely smooooth, very elegant tea. Tastes lightly of malt and chocolate with that nice baked bread aroma. This is definitely an elegant tea. I wish I had more to say about it right now, but it is delicious.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

i think this was my favorite JW too!

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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