65

Golden Monkey is the tea that awakened me to black tea after avoiding it for most of my life. The YS 2016 version was marvelous. Last year’s version was also good, though not as sweet. So this year I decided to upgrade to the Imperial grade stuff to see if was really worth it. Well after gongfuing around with this tea, I can say this is totally different from the standard grade version and not in a good way.

This tea resembles keemun in appearance with its dark curly leaf. There’s fewer gold-tipped leaves here than the regular grade version. On the nose, I get an almost pungent aroma of dried fruit, smoke, and malt. The tea brews to a nice reddish amber. The taste though was far removed from any other golden monkey tea I’ve ever had. It has a very basic black tea, dare I say Lipton-like flavor. I didn’t get any of the deep caramel and molasses notes I love. There was no sweetness or real nuance to it at all. Subsequent steeps tasted the same.

I’m still scratching my head at this tea. It wasn’t bad or anything, just flat and kind of boring. Maybe this was an off year or something, but it’s hard to believe this is golden monkey tea let alone the high grade stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
eastkyteaguy

Thus far, this has not been one of my favorites either, but you might want to try lowering the water temperature. I’m going to try the same thing and see if that helps.

Mastress Alita

I love Golden Monkey tea too. I have a hard time imagining “Golden Monkey” and “Lipton” in the same sentence. That poor tea…

apefuzz

Wow, good to know. It’s a shame to hear your experience. I’ve noticed a few reviews of 2018 teas now that are noting less-than-stellar experiences…

LuckyMe

Thanks for the tip on water temperature. I’ll give that a try and also try to western steep it. Not all tea do well gongfued.

@Mastress Alita, hehe I may have been a tad harsh there with the L-word. Golden monkey is one of my favorites, but sadly this one failed to rise above meh for me.

eastkyteaguy

I think Yunnan Sourcing normally recommends a temperature around 194 F for all of their black teas. I’ve noticed that a lot of their black teas, especially the imperial grade teas, can be a little fussy about temperature, so I tend to stick with temperatures ranging from 194-205 F and usually get good results. The teas sourced this year have been weird though, either being almost identical to last year or totally different.

LuckyMe

My usual gongfu method for blacks is 30s at boiling followed by flash steeps. It seems to work for most but is probably not ideal for the more refined teas.

My experience with this year’s YS teas is along the lines of what you described. Two of the 3 teas I’ve tried so far tasted totally different from past harvests. I wonder if they switched suppliers/farmers this year.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

eastkyteaguy

Thus far, this has not been one of my favorites either, but you might want to try lowering the water temperature. I’m going to try the same thing and see if that helps.

Mastress Alita

I love Golden Monkey tea too. I have a hard time imagining “Golden Monkey” and “Lipton” in the same sentence. That poor tea…

apefuzz

Wow, good to know. It’s a shame to hear your experience. I’ve noticed a few reviews of 2018 teas now that are noting less-than-stellar experiences…

LuckyMe

Thanks for the tip on water temperature. I’ll give that a try and also try to western steep it. Not all tea do well gongfued.

@Mastress Alita, hehe I may have been a tad harsh there with the L-word. Golden monkey is one of my favorites, but sadly this one failed to rise above meh for me.

eastkyteaguy

I think Yunnan Sourcing normally recommends a temperature around 194 F for all of their black teas. I’ve noticed that a lot of their black teas, especially the imperial grade teas, can be a little fussy about temperature, so I tend to stick with temperatures ranging from 194-205 F and usually get good results. The teas sourced this year have been weird though, either being almost identical to last year or totally different.

LuckyMe

My usual gongfu method for blacks is 30s at boiling followed by flash steeps. It seems to work for most but is probably not ideal for the more refined teas.

My experience with this year’s YS teas is along the lines of what you described. Two of the 3 teas I’ve tried so far tasted totally different from past harvests. I wonder if they switched suppliers/farmers this year.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer