Golden Monkey

Tea type
Black Tea
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Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Smoke, Sweet, Astringent, Bitter, Hay, Malt, Sour, Bread, Wet Earth, Creamy, Wet Moss, Wet wood, Earth, Apricot, Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Pecan
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jack
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 11 g 12 oz / 357 ml

From Our Community

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109 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have to be out the door for a rehearsal in 15 minutes. Usually I’m still in my room doing yoga right now. So I’m attempting to shove food in my face & get some caffeine going too. According...” Read full tasting note
  • “My first impression – not as good as Harney and Sons Golden Monkey but twice the price. Sticking with Harney and Sons. It does have some of the character of Harney’s GM, but I don’t think it is...” Read full tasting note
  • “I missed you, Steepster. And really, I’m not back yet. I’m still down south, where I’ve been since the 22nd (and somehow it’s still absolutely freezing outside…why do I feel cheated?). I was...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’m bumping this ones rating up a bit because it’s a solidly nice tea. I finally have a day off work, and I’m trying to organize my teas a bit and give some away which I know I will never get...” Read full tasting note

From Teavana

The finest China black from the Fujian province. This smooth tea with complex chocolaty undertones is extremely low in tannins, yet rich in flavor.

How to Prepare
Use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8oz of water. Heat water to 195-205 degrees and steep for 2-3 minutes. 2oz of tea equals 25-30 teaspoons.
Pure Chinese black tea (from Fujian province).

About Teavana View company

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109 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

I have to be out the door for a rehearsal in 15 minutes. Usually I’m still in my room doing yoga right now. So I’m attempting to shove food in my face & get some caffeine going too.

According to my chart, I’m suppose to be drinking the sipdown of Verdant’s Zhu Rong. I can’t do it. I’m not ready. It might be the last cup of that tasty tea ever, so it warrants a special occasion. I want to allow time to fully savor that last serving, in all it’s steepings. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have pumpkin waffles with maple syrup for breakfast…


Your chart? Did you make yourself a tea chart?

Terri HarpLady

It’s an inventory, basically listing all my teas by type, really pretty simple. I printed it out, & the ‘rule’ is I make a mark next to each tea when I drink it, so that I work my way through the collection (instead of just drinking my favorites all the time). Of course, I’m allowed to cheat once in awhile, LOL


That’s a good idea. I think I may need to try something like that, to help me mix it up a little better. Sometimes I think it’s been months since I’ve had a tea, and when I go to log it, it turns out I had it the week prior. whoops!

Terri HarpLady

The funny thing is, I made it through my entire collection of straight black teas (18) in a week! With one exception…the last cup of Zhu Rong. I’ve decided that last cup will be my reward for finishing my taxes (which I’m suppose to be working on right now…shhhh….don’t tell Ms Theresa!)


lol – good luck with the taxes


18 black teas! In a week! My kind of girl! :)


Pumpkin waffles! Yum!!

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3283 tasting notes

My first impression – not as good as Harney and Sons Golden Monkey but twice the price. Sticking with Harney and Sons. It does have some of the character of Harney’s GM, but I don’t think it is quite as caramel-y or honeyed. The aroma is very nice. I will try resteeping soon. They recommend 2 to 3 minutes steeping time, while I give Harney’s 4 to 5 minutes and get no bitterness. I have read that this one gets bitter if you leave it longer. We’ll see how the experiments pan out. Sweet hubby bought this for me on his lunch hour while at a class in another city! Mmmmmmwah!


I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to hit NYC during my break after catching this cold then getting hit with snow, so I placed an order for H&S Golden Monkey and Earl Grey Supreme. It came yesterday and I’m so excited AND relieved. :) :) :)


Two very yummy choices!

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158 tasting notes

I missed you, Steepster.

And really, I’m not back yet. I’m still down south, where I’ve been since the 22nd (and somehow it’s still absolutely freezing outside…why do I feel cheated?). I was totally incommunicado for the holidays, which were lovely, mellow, and full of accidentally oversteeped cups of tea brewed at random temperatures…and then I was tea free for the last week, because I had my wisdom teeth out, and hot liquids were a no-no (to say nothing of the fact that caffeine and vicodin make poor bedpartners).

Today I actually got to brew myself a half-cup of chai. It was as though the pill-filled universe I’ve been existing in flickered for a moment on a faulty circuit, and normalcy was briefly restored. I may escape the matrix yet! With a flight home Monday to look forward to, things are looking up (though I may very well be shredded into a thousand tiny pieces by two very angry, lonely cats when I walk through that front door. The possibility exists that I may not survive how glad they will be to see me).

Despite my inability to drink any tea, I did get to buy some tea the day before my extractions. There’s a Teavana nearby. I loaded upon Samurai mate and splurged on a little bit of their Golden Monkey, as I sort of like Adagio’s, and I’m a huge fan of the Golden Spring. Why not, right? Fujian tea and I seem to get along pretty well.

Take this with not just one but several grains of salt: my mouth is not completely normal right now, for one thing, and for another I have no ability to gauge temperature here, but…

I’m just not that excited about this tea. Malty, yes. Bitter? Yeah. Not just bitter but a bit sour on the aftertaste. I’m sure I can lessen this by backing the temperature off, so this rating is just tentative. It certainly seems to have the thick, brothy mouthfeel that I liked so much in my Golden Spring, but the flavor seems so forward. There are elements of that prune/raisin sweetness in there, but they’re outdone by the bitter malty flavor. I guess I’ll have to try it again another time. Glad I only bought a small amount, though.

Hopefully it at least fuels me through reading the insane amount of updates from you guys that I now have to parse through! I’m excited to see what everybody was trying over the holidays, and I cannot wait to get home…home, where my Samovar and Teafrog orders from pre-Christmas are patiently waiting for me to pick them up from the front desk…

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Awww… you had your wisdom teeth pulled on vacation, sad!:,( I hope you feel better and are back to your tea drinking self soon!:)


Welcome back (sort of, seeing as you aren’t completely back home yet). Can’t wait to read your reviews.


Missed you, and welcome back! I hope you feel much better with the wisdom teeth thing. Mine have to come out soon, and I’m mildly terrified! Rest up, play some games, and drink tea when you can!


Glad to see you back on Steepster! I was beginning to wonder where you’d gotten to. Also glad to hear you had an enjoyable holiday.

When I got my wisdom teeth out, I was overly terrified to drink pretty much ANYTHING since they told me about dry suction and even though that is only related to straw-drinking, I think I only sipped on some water while I was still recovering.


Oh, and durr, YAY SAMOVAR! I hope you like them! [And the Teafrog.]


Thank you all for the well-wishings! And the welcome-backs. :)

Teaplz — don’t worry too much! It’s definitely unpleasant, but assuredly not unbearable. Worst bit for me was the bit right after coming out of twilight sedation, but thankfully it seems pretty easy to sleep through most of that…or it was for me, anyway, and usually I have a lot of trouble sleeping.

Tak — dry socket! I read about that when I was researching online to make sure I can fly safely this soon. D: I didn’t know anything about that before I got them extracted. I knew I could unclot things with straws or suction but not what would result…eugh. I’m almost glad I didn’t know. Safe to say I’ll probably be skipping painkillers this weekend and just taking them on the day I fly. x.x


Hey it’s good to have you back. I hope your mouth will feel better soon.


I didn’t get any bitterness in this tea, and I hate bitter teas. I’m no expert, but maybe using boiling water is too hot? I thought black teas were typically brewed at around 195 or so.

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417 tasting notes

I’m bumping this ones rating up a bit because it’s a solidly nice tea. I finally have a day off work, and I’m trying to organize my teas a bit and give some away which I know I will never get around to drinking. I’m also watching the second part of “Kind Hearted Woman”. I really enjoy these David Sutherland documentaries, and they’re best watched when Casey isn’t around. The last movie he picked out to watch was Troll Hunter, and he still wants to see “I, Frankenstein” despite nearly unanimously atrocious reviews.

Flavors: Malt

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
Roswell Strange

This one reminds me of Apricot Jam and Ketchup Chips – and this is probably super weird to say, but I love that about it.

Roswell Strange

And my roommates computer scrolled and I posted this on the wrong tasting note. Apologies. But I bet that momentarily weirded you out ;P


Haha. Yeah. I had no idea how this could taste like those things to you…

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911 tasting notes

As a general rule, I think it’s safe to say that I greatly enjoy Golden Monkey teas. First of all, monkey so that’s kind of a duh. Second, it just tends to be a good, full-flavored but smooth and sweet Chinese tea. So yeah, I’m a fan all the way around. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Teavana. I’m not like a total anti-Teavana tea person – I’ve purchased from them before and I’m sure I will again because I think they have some of the cutest yunomi-style cups. But typically I find them too much a fan of blending random beep together and their teas are overpriced for their quality – for the same price elsewhere, much higher quality tea can be had. But enough general tea babbling and let’s get on to specific tea babbling.

The dry leaves are really quite cute (thin and wiry with little gold bits) and have a great fruity (almost berry-like) smell to them. Post-steeping, it has a great malty smell with strong honey notes. Or perhaps it is more of a great honey smell with strong malty notes? Also, there’s a good bake-y smell going on.

The taste was a bit unexpected. It’s not as heavy/thick/chewy as I was expecting but the flavor is very strong and very malty. It’s very clear tasting, like it would look sparkly and clear (which it actually does but that doesn’t always translate to taste). There’s a hint of sour to it which could probably be too much if brewed longer, but at this level it’s actually not bad – it adds a little balance to the sweetness. But it does seem to hang around after this sip which is a little less cool. All in all, it’s not the best GM I’ve had (that honor still belongs to Teas Etc’s GM) but it’s not bad either. Stout, perky, clean – the only real negative is the sour taste and that isn’t overwhelming.

Wait, I take that back. There is another negative – the price. Two ounces of this tea is just over $18. Three ounces of the (in my view, superior) Teas Etc version is just under $17. So even though I like this tea, I don’t think I’d ever actually buy it. Instead, I’d go to Teas Etc, save a bit over a buck and get an ounce more of a better Golden Monkey. (However, the rating I’m giving this tea is based purely on taste, not price.)

ETA: The second steep (3:00) is a bit… plainer than the first one. It doesn’t really have the sour bit anymore except a tad in the aftertaste (which is good) but it also doesn’t have the same bold and sweet malty taste that the first steep did (which is bad). But even though the overall taste was thinner and flatter, I still managed to finish off the cup quickly.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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15131 tasting notes

sipdown! no count down here though until the end of the day since i’ll be gaining teas and hopefully losing some before the day is out.

this was another sample from terriharplady (getting sooo close to finally getting through all your teas terri!) and while this one is a tasty cup of black goodness, it leaves my mouth feeling really dry at the end of the sip, which i’m not overly a fan of today. this would likely be a tasty cup of tea with milk and sugar to help combat the dryness in my mouth. still though, a decent cup of goodness this morning…

Edit: 1800 tasting notes..that much closer to 2k before my first year steepsterversary is up haha


Yowza! Congrats!
Without any evidence or anything I’m just going to guess your stash will be at 313. Anyone else? :P


LOL that’s a fun game. it will include 15 teas not listed in my cupboard to make it fair to anyone else who wants to play. lol


Congrats! You’re cruising away already reaching 1800. Wow! It’ll take me forever to get there.

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2145 tasting notes

Tea #7 from the traveling tea box.

My first impression of this was that it had a nice malty flavor to it, but it seemed a little weak in comparison to other Golden Monkey teas that I’ve had. That may be because I steeped at the lower end of the suggested temp/time so I’ll need to try again later to see if the flavor improves. Right now it is time to cut off my caffeine consumption for the night.

I’m considering pulling this out of the box since I know my husband will like it for iced tea. I was surprised to find out that it retails for $18.50 for 2oz. Talk about an overpriced tea, the quality just isn’t that good to warrant such a high price tag.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Dr Jim

I agree with the comment on the price, but I got it at the 75% off Christmas sale. It’s possible that it is a bit old, which might explain the weakness, but I haven’t seen that with the other teas I bought in that sale (several of which are in the box).

Short Sorceress

The last golden monkey tea that I had was from Teavivre and had a much more full body to it, making this one seem weak in comparison. I doubt it was due to the age of the tea, just the quality in comparison to Teavivre.


Could I convince you to maybe leave a cup or two worth in there? I have two other Golden Monkey teas here I would love to compare it to!

Short Sorceress

Yup, I’ll put some back in for you. I decided to pull out a couple with larger amounts so I could give the box more variety.


Thank you! :)

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423 tasting notes

Almost a sip down, as I want to rebrew this tea. I love Golden Monkey, and this one from Terri is pretty good – tasty, sweet, smooth – but not good enough for me to sit up and take notice, or place in my “favorite Golden Monkey teas” just yet. I need more time with it before I decide, but it does seem like a decent and good black tea.

Terri HarpLady

If you’d never had any other Golden Monkeys, it would probably taste amazing, right? But it is Teavana…

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42 tasting notes

Upon the recommendation of Teavana iPhone app, I made a nice blend of this with Raspberry Riot. The liquor has a dark orange hue and the taste is much different than I would have guessed.

Somehow there is a hint of orange in there, the kind of flavor you get from an orange tootsie roll pop. I recommend giving it a shot.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Will P



I don’t have an iPhone…but a fellow tea lover I know does…checked it out on their phone. I am a Blackberry man…yet they don’t have the Teavana app for that.

Will P

Let’s start a petition

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19 tasting notes

Black teas are my jam. This, though, was my first purchase from Teavana. Not only that, but it was my first time ever seeing a tea store. Living down south in a town far away from civilization, I always had to order teas online. After moving to college, I threw some praises up to the Lord above for having tea places so close to me.
But, like I said, it was my first time in a tea store. I was just too excited. This was the first tea they showed me, and I didn’t even think about it. I just bought it. I regret that now, because I could have gotten something much better. This is tasty, but not so much by itself. I have found myself mixing it with other black teas I have just so I can get rid of what I have left.

It’s alright, but I probably won’t buy it again. Not from Teavana at least.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Your first paragraph made me chuckle. I have to beat down a perpetual state of covetousness when some of our fellow Steepies mention their local tea buying options. And wipe the drool off my keyboard.


Ha yeah, I’m so glad there are places I can buy now.


Yeah, I’ve found that Teavana’s blends are a bit better than their straight teas. Or are at least more unique. There are better versions of their straight teas at other companies for probably cheaper anyway.


The Golden Monkey from Teavivre is awesome, as is the one from Harney and Sons. Teavana’s….eh, not so much. If you haven’t already signed up for their free tea tasting activity, you can go to Teavivre’s site and choose five tea samples to have sent to you. They are awesome, they are fresh, they are affordable.

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