Next up is Golden Monkey, or Jin Huo Cha as it is also known, this is a hong cha from Fujian and is also a favorite…and yes, I know at this point you are probably laughing at me since I have an overwhelming obsession with the red teas. The aroma of the curled leaves is strong in the sweet potato department, combine that with molasses and brown sugar and it smells like candied yams with a delicate distant flower note that seems to pop up in these Fujian reds, like distant orchids.
Steeping time, and the tea keeps up the starchy persona with strong notes of sweet potatoes and molasses, with a bit of burned sugar and a distant hint of peanuts. It smells sweet but not too terribly malty, this is more mild than the previous tea but sweeter in aroma. The liquid is sooo sweet, strong notes of sweet potato and peanuts, it is like a peanut crusted baked sweet potato pie with lots of molasses and brown sugar…and it is making me hungry.
This mug of red happiness is very sweet, and holds up to multiple steepings which is win. It starts malty and yammy (it is a word now) and moves to peanuts and molasses and the finish is a honey sweet lingering with a distant flowery quality that is light on the first steep but on the second steep the flowery note shows up in the midtaste and lingers into the aftertaste. It is a mellow red tea, one that I think is more suited to the evening or afternoon than morning, a tea for enjoying when you are more awake to enjoy it.