Golden Monkey Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Caramel, Cream, Fruity, Sweet, Bitter, Tea, Astringent, banana, Cacao, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Graham Cracker, Grapes, Grass, Maple Syrup, Sweet Potatoes, Wood, Yams, Baked Bread, Dark Wood, Honey, Malt, Maple, Nutty, Smoke, Tobacco, Leather, Molasses, Salt, Drying, Fig, Tannin, Coffee, Butter
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 9 oz / 279 ml

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205 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Ok, if opening this sample doesn’t make you say, “Oooh!” out loud, then just box up your stuff, send it to me, and go back to drinking soda or coffee or whatever else you were drinking before tea....” Read full tasting note
  • “Good morning Steepsterites! My dad is 80 years old today. Mom turned 79 on xmas eve. They live in Florida, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but I chat on the phone with them pretty...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea is so far superior to the one from Teavana in my opinion, and it is probably half the price. It is a tea that can go with any mood, any food. I served it today to youngest and her...” Read full tasting note
  • “Another delicious tea that i took out with me today. Early morning start today to make it in to the spa with nicole for a girls day out. Mani/Pedis, lunch, movie and then dinner with my other...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Fujian(福建), China

Ingredients: Tea leaves are tight as needles, conspicuous golden tips, slightly curly

Taste: Sweet potato taste, followed with fruity fragrance

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194 ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Being a fully oxidised – or fermented – black tea, it does not have the same level of antioxidants that our White and Green teas have, however it is still a good source of these and so will also help reduce the risk of cancers and lessen the affects of aging. Black teas such as our Fengqing black also are considered to help prevent tooth decay and help lower your cholesterol levels.

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205 Tasting Notes

863 tasting notes

This was a generous sample from TeaVivre. Thank you so much!

Hmmm…I may have gone too long on the steep time, because this had a touch of astringence to it. And that was only at 2 minutes! I did use 4.5 grams of leaf for 500 ml. of water, though, so maybe that might be part of it…

The smell of this was slightly smoky, which I’m coming to realize is a general characteristic of Fujian teas. It wasn’t ash tray smoky, luckily, so I didn’t feel too apprehensive about trying it. Especially because of an underlying starchy/malty note that adds some extra (and very pleasant) complexity.

The taste is…raisins. Rather, the taste plus astringence equals raisins. Kind of fruity and dry but also that vague sulphur-y flavor which I think is what that smoky smell turned into. Interestingly, even though it’s dry it also has a thick texture that coats the mouth – this is quite the maze of contradictions!

I wonder if this is related to the Tan Yang Angrboda loves so dearly? It’s just that she described that tea pretty much how I think this one tastes. They are from the same province, so I suppose it’s possible.

Anyway, I’m going to try a little less leaf or a little less steeping time or some combination of the two the next time I brew this – I’m curious to see what will happen. Tonight’s preparation yielded a good tea, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get everything out of it that I could have.

I will say that it definitely has a TON of character and it’s a shame human error had to go and get in the way. :( Oh, well – at least there can be a next time!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I strongly suspect that it’s very similar to the Tan Yang.I’ve never really been able to work out the ‘Golden Monkey’ name because it seems to show up on several different teas.


I’ll be curious to know what you think of it! I’m also going to do some tea-search (haha. I kill myself sometimes) so I’ll see what I figure out!

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361 tasting notes

Okay, this one blows the Bailin away. I thought that was tasty, but this one is by far my favorite. The color of the brew surprised me with how dark it was and I couldn’t really figure out what it smelled like. The flavor totally shocked me. So dark and rich. Like baker’s chocolate complete with that bitter flavor bakers chocolate has, but in a really good way. And each subsequent steep got darker and richer. This will most definitely take up permanent residence in my already overflowing cupboard. I still have like 6 more black teas samples from Teavivre to try but it’s tough to imagine any of them being this good. But if they are, I’m in for a huge treat!

El Monstro

Good to hear, I ordered both teas you mentioned and they are in transit.


I realllyy need to request some more samples from Teavivre.

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525 tasting notes

Got husband to have gaiwan session with me this morning. :) That means I didn’t have to imbibe all that caffeine by myself. Which means I can have more other teas. :D so we followed the directions on teavivre’s website. Worked well! He even poured a few steepings. :)

The tea developed beautifully. Husband’s comments were great. He said they were like burnt flowers. Which I translated to understand as smokey and floral. Haha. I thought it was smoked prunes. Tasty. But a bit savory. Like a balanced meal.

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

Thank you to all the Steepsterites who have reviewed this before me. It was those reviews that helped me to buy this one without sampling. I love a great tea at a good price and this seemed to fit the bill very well.

I have had at least three versions of Golden Monkey prior to this one. If memory serves, this one is just as good as the others. It is actually probably better in some regards in that it is a wonderfully smooth tea. I think the version from Adagio was not quite as flavorful and sweet. The one from Harney was probably a little more rich and sweet potatoey. I guess it is probably closest to the version I had from Upton (If I still have some, I will try it sometime this week for comparison.) I know one of them was a little more astringent and earthy than I usually like….hopefully I can review my notes and figure out which one it was! (pretty sure it was Adagio…) *edit to add it was Upton. I think Adagio was the lightest tasting of all of them.

All that comparing really seems unnecessary, though. This is a very good tea. Smooth, slight malt, hints of cocoa and honey, light sweet potato. Definitely worthy of being a staple for me. I have not been as enamored with a Golden Monkey in some time. So glad I just bought some of this one! What a bargain!

Usual teapot method. Second steep at 5 minutes and it was good, too!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I’ve heard so many great things about Teavivre. How much did you buy?


I have this on shelf, and it always elicits a little moan when people sip it for the first time.


Indigo- I bought 100 grams. It will be more next time…. :D (I did buy 200g of Black Dragon Pearl, too.)


100g… whew that will last awhile :)


“I love a great tea at a good price and this seemed to fit the bill very well.” “This is a very good tea. Smooth, slight malt, hints of cocoa and honey, light sweet potato. Definitely worthy of being a staple for me.” “So glad I just bought some of this one! What a bargain!”

Thanks for your review of this tea. It sounds like a winner! I look forward to tasting it – I requested a sample on Friday.

Donna A

I just had this one earlier today. And your description is very accurate. I put 2.5 gm in 8 oz water, 1st steeping only 1 minute and 2nd steeping 2 minutes, and still got a load of flavor. I love their Golden Monkey and also Yun Nan Dian Hong, which also has the light malt and sweet potato flavors.

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807 tasting notes

Sent to me by Angel of Teavivre for review and a huge thank you to them for this!
You know I kept planning to sit down and write the review many times but I kept getting pulled back into the tea just relaxing, enjoying, and almost sending me to a heady meditative place.
I needed it too!
The sample is quite generous and for that I am very happy as I can have another full pot to tide me over until I can place an order with Teavivre next month! Eek that seems so far away thinking about it!
This tea has a bright fruity aroma and a juicy fruity after taste that is lovely and quite different from its malty and sweet potato flavor on the initial sip!
Its sweet but of course there is no added sweetener to the tea itself and I did not add any sweetener so this is an all natural sweet goodness here!
It has a velvety rich mouthfeel which makes me feel a bit spoiled – its decadent!
The tea also provides a nice but mellow caffeine kick!
I would absolutely keep this in my perma stash!
Thanks again Angel and Teavivre! you got me with this one for sure – then again you get me with most all of your teas lol.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Oh, I have this sample waiting for me, too! I can’t wait to try it next week!


Hope you enjoy it! :)

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172 tasting notes

I saw this when it was brand new on Teavivre’s website and didn’t hesitate to order 100 grams of it. I had never had a Golden Monkey before but have heard good things about them and was curious.

The leaves were not quite as golden as I expected them to be, but the dry leaf put off a pleasant malty aroma not unlike the Bailin Gongfu black also from Teavivre. I’ve tried this hot quite a few times now and I’m not getting much complexity from the tea. I expected sweet potato and honey flavors along with malty qualities but all I’m really getting is malt. Still, it’s a nice and comforting grainy and malty flavor, just not quite what I was expecting.

Last night, I set up a pitcher to cold brew overnight, and today at noon (12 hours later) I gave it a try. The flavor is TOTALLY different cold brewed. It’s a bit hard to describe. I do get a little hint of sweet potato this way but the brew is more astringent, and there’s also a little bit of what I would call a metallic taste and a slight fruity flavor. As strange as that may sound, I’m finding this to be a very refreshing iced tea and in my opinion, this tea shines most cold-brewed.

El Monstro

I’ve been cold brewing a lot of tea this Summer, and I’m finding I prefer quite a few of them iced.

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1060 tasting notes

I woke up craving this. I’ve been slowly sipping on it throughout the morning, and it has been great. This pot seems slightly sweeter than the previous one. Definitely no need for sugar. If I have any complaint with this tea it’s that my sample is gone and I haven’t reordered yet.

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871 tasting notes

Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity. Thanks Angel!

The brewed tea smells deliciously sweet. I immediately thought of wild honey.

The brewed tea tastes wonderful. First tastes that come to mind were clean, malty, wild honey flavours. As I get into the mid sip, I definitely get a sweet potatoe taste, like crispy sweet potatoe fries. There is definitely a lingering sweetness. This tea tastes full and bold. Slightly creamy taste and feel to the liquor. No astringency.

I love Fujian blacks, and this one is no exception. Next time I would like to brew for a but longer to get stronger flavours.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

LOVE this one.

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676 tasting notes

Thank you to Teavivre for this sample tea!

As always the service from Teavivre is of the highest quality with the best packaging and kind notes from Angel!

Now and then I encounter a tea that is…“not my cup of tea” and there is no way to get around saying it. I can’t possibly love all tea’s… nobody can.
I discovered last year is that I can’t taste some green tea’s whatsoever! A few Butiki’s flavored green tea’s taste like water to me because I can’t taste the base tea. Silly taste buds!

The fault isn’t the tea or Teavivre or me, it’s what happens in human beings.

All that being said, I’ll tell you what the tea tasted like to me and you might chuckle (or not).

I’m a super-taster of sorts due to the health condition I have which gives me a stronger than average sense of taste and smell. I have to be careful not to wear perfumes when I drink tea. I tasted Golden Monkey on two occasions to make sure there wasn’t anything interfering with my senses.

What I tasted both times was like V8 Juice.
Primarily Celery leaf juice, brothy diluted tomato with mixed vegetables. Not the best tasting tea if you know what I mean, but an ok soup.

I know, I know… different than anyone else…yada yada.

I’m a black tea lover not a hater but this one hit the stranger than strange tea alarm in my mouth.

Sorry Angel, this one was a giggler. It happens.


Soup!! I love soup :P


Hi cutie professional lady!


hehe hi hi Colorado belle :D


Coincidentally, I’m drinking this TeaVivre Golden Monkey Black Tea right now! My allergies-racked taste buds also detect a different taste to this one than TeaVivre’s other black teas but V8 Juice isn’t registering. I’m thinking…hhmmm…something more like…broccoli!


Mmmm breakfast broccoli! I loved the rose black and keemun….um…going to go look for those. You should have added a little lapsang souchong to your broccoli tea since you like it and that would make a soupy cuppa. I’m nuts huh!

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58 tasting notes

Thanks, Bonnie, for the sample

Dry smell: This tea smells very sweet and lightly like a malty milk chocolate.

Wet smell: This tea smells very similar to the black dragon pearls. It has a nice but deep malty chocolate smell. It has more of a cocoa scent when it is wet.

Taste: This tea is really good. It does remind me a lot of the black dragon pearls. It has a really deep cocoa flavor. There is a difference though, it has a kind of a sweet, starchy floral taste. It has a nice deep flavor.

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