75

I really like the Premium Golden Monkey tea and this, the regular version of the Golden Monkey has pretty strong review on Steepster, so I my expectations were high.

Meh – a surprised but emphatic meh. This tea simply lacks the balance and refinement of its premium counterpart in taste. The golden buds seem to be completely lost and underwhelming, while the black tea part assaults you with harshness and unrefined boldness. The smell is meh as well. Given that the price of the premium version is only $3 higher per 100 grams I see no reasons whatsoever to buy the regular Golden Monkey from Teavivre.

I even stopped after only two gaiwan infusions and had no desire to continue and finish the tasting, which is very unusual for me. Luckily, it was a free sample that came with my order and I don’t have to force myself to invent a mood that would call for this tea in order to finish the remaining 45- 95 grams. That’s why I never buy a tea I have not previously tried in any quantity but a sample regardless of dazzling reviews and beguiling discounts.

ashmanra

About five or six years ago, Harney and Sons posted in the description on their site that the current harvest of GM was not as sweet as the previous year due to a drought in the area. I have never seen that with another tea, and wonder if this particular type is especially affected. Perhaps this is just a lesser harvest, while the earlier ones were sweeter or more full-bodied? I generally buy the Premium Golden Monkey, too.

Bluegreen

You are very likely to be onto something. In my experience, even lower grades of Teavivre teas are usually quite drinkable and frequently offer interesting different profiles from the premium ones (e.g., I really like the boldness of their Second Grade Keemun. That’s why this Golden Monkey was such a disappointment for me.

But in any case, their Premium Golden Monkey is so good that I will leave this mystery unsolved and just stick with it.

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ashmanra

About five or six years ago, Harney and Sons posted in the description on their site that the current harvest of GM was not as sweet as the previous year due to a drought in the area. I have never seen that with another tea, and wonder if this particular type is especially affected. Perhaps this is just a lesser harvest, while the earlier ones were sweeter or more full-bodied? I generally buy the Premium Golden Monkey, too.

Bluegreen

You are very likely to be onto something. In my experience, even lower grades of Teavivre teas are usually quite drinkable and frequently offer interesting different profiles from the premium ones (e.g., I really like the boldness of their Second Grade Keemun. That’s why this Golden Monkey was such a disappointment for me.

But in any case, their Premium Golden Monkey is so good that I will leave this mystery unsolved and just stick with it.

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I like to drink teas to recreate a specific mood, or just to take a break at work. The world of tea is so endless, patiently waiting for exploration and rewarding you in many ways big and small.

I am looking forward to years of playing with tea leaves, gaiwans, cups, and YouTube videos.

My ratings:

90 or more – very good/excellent tea, I can see myself ordering it again.

80-89 – it is a good tea, I enjoyed it but not enough to reorder.

70-79 – an OK, drinkable tea but there are certainly much better options even in the same class/type.

60-69 – this tea has such major flaws that you have to force yourself to finish what you ordered.

<60 – truly horrible teas that must be avoided at all costs.

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