drank Golden Monkey by Premium Steap
1112 tasting notes

This tea is absolutely intoxicating – raisiny, chocolatey – so rich and full bodied. I love it. BUT! it does not taste anything like any kind of Golden Monkey!!!! It reminds me of Harney & Sons Panyang Congu to tell you the truth! The leaves don’t even look Golden Monkey-ish. I will give this a high score for an amazing black tea which is delicious with nary an addition (but I bet it can stand up to milk and sugar!), but Golden or Monkeyish it ain’t. Even though I’m trying not to do too much online ordering, Teas Etc.’s Golden Monkey is still my gold (har!) standard for this tea.

Now, it’s story time!

The Wandering Tea Drinker has returned home! I haven’t visited my local tea shop since JANUARY because of all the online ordering I’ve been doing (and I feel TERRIBLE about that – our shop is a treasure as far as I’m concerned!). I had decided that I could do better than my little teapot with disposable filter bag for work use – I was almost out of filter bags, and didn’t really want to keep buying them, and my teapot sure did leak when I poured if I didn’t have the top on just so. I thought that a brewer mug would be much more convenient for work, and I could use my little tea for one pot at home when I wanted a cup but my husband didn’t.

Premium Steap had a great selection of mugs, and I decided to get this one:


The color is more purpley blue in person. The things that sold me on it: I love the super fine mesh infuser basket, the fact that the lid acts like a saucer for the basket, and the little rubber section in the middle – makes for a good grip, and helps with the heat. I am sipping from it now – and it is working great!

I also had a really fun time in the store. The owner and I had a nice conversation. Here is the tea talk we had:

-She was all out of the Royal Golden Yunnan (that’s what I originally wanted instead of the Golden Monkey) and has not finalized her order yet because the droughts were so bad in China. She feels this year’s is not going to be so good, and wants to do further tastings before buying. (How nice to have someone so particular about her stock)

-She recommended to me the Emperor’s Red. My brain said Ding ding ding – this must be in the same vein as the Imperial Red that I love from Silk Road Teas! So I got some :) I’ll review it next week. She said the food editor from our city’s major newspaper is nuts for this one :)

-I told her how much I’ve been enjoying teas that don’t need milk, so she threw in some Margaret’s Hope FTGFOP 1 CH SPL Darjeeling 1st flush, Spring 2010 for free. She said it’s good plain, but “the Germans love it with a little sugar!”

I won’t repeat the talk about my job and the weather ;)

Now that was a fun lunch hour!!!!

EDIT: Three delicious steeps, just so I know for future reference, each one a minute longer than the previous.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Oh, for a real live tea store in my neighborhood!!!!

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Oh, for a real live tea store in my neighborhood!!!!

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I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes


Collingswood, NJ



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