MONKEY PICKED GOLDEN (China Special Black Tea)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Hunan Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Handmade Golden Leaf
Altitude: 4000 – 6000 ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Hunan’s mountain climate accents the distinctive mellow, light oaky cup. Infusion: Bright, with a light lingering toasty character and finish.
Ingredients: China black tea
Information: Before brewing this tea we would like to offer a warning: Prepare yourself for what may be the best cup of tea you’ve ever had in your life! Without word of a lie, this is truly a truly fabulous brew. The tea itself is grown in the mountainous growing region of Hunan province, well-known throughout China as the “Tea Country in the South.” Tea production is spread throughout the province with plantations and factories in almost every county, town, and village. Hunan province has been well known for centuries for producing some of China’s finest teas – we’re proud to offer this hand made Monkey Picked Golden as one of the best examples of the quality this region has to offer. In some regions of Hunan province, ancient local custom held that the first plucking of the tea bushes were to be picked by monkeys. This was due in part to their dexterity, which enabled them to pluck the highly delicate leaves, and also because it was believed that they brought good luck and would ensure an excellent harvesting season. Upon opening the bag, the first thing you’ll notice is the golden color of the leaves – this is the color of the very top new buds of the tea bushes. These are plucked very early in the morning and then hand sorted during production. As you reach into the bag, run some of the leaf through your fingers. You will find them to be exceptionally delicate with a slight fuzzy feel to them – you can be sure that with leaf of this quality this tea is going to brew a very flavorful and delicate cup. And what a flavorful cup it is – mellow, with hints of oak and a savory mellow and toasty finish. This brew is to tea what the finest Bordeaux is to wine – pour a cup, sit back and enjoy.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ‘milky’ when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!