This sample came from the lovely Nicole. I was unsure which teas are in this blend, so I looked it up on their website: apparently it’s golden monkey mixed with Assam. I don’t really have any experience with Assam, but it seems like (judging from other people’s notes) that it’s generally a very bold and strong type of tea. The dry leaf here looks similar to other less-tippy Yunnan teas – small, thin black leaves with just a few tips included. Normally, this would make me less excited to try it, as generally the less-tippy Yunnan teas have that heavy earth/mineral flavor, but since I know it’s golden monkey, I know this won’t be the case. Hooray! I don’t get a ton of dry scent from the leaves, just a sense of sweet stonefruit. I did my usual 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Hmm, I can definitely smell the Yunnan here, the brewed aroma has plenty of malt with baked bread and apricot notes. It’s been a while since I’ve had Golden Monkey from Harney, but I remember enjoying it quite a bit.
This tastes chiefly of raw, chewy grain to me, which is not a bad thing! I’m reminded of all the Shang teas I’ve tried lately. There’s definitely malt and a little bit of a stonefruit essence. I get quite a bit of earthiness, but it’s not mineral or smoky, so it’s a nice mellow earth taste. There’s just a little bit of a rich molasses flavor that pairs nicely with all of that graininess.
Overall, I can’t really differentiate between the two teas, which I guess means they go well together. It’s been too long since I’ve had the Golden Monkey plain! Someday, I’ll explore Assams… ;)
Flavors: Earth, Grain, Malt, Molasses, Stonefruits