Golden Monkey Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Black Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Orange, Peach, Raisins, Smoke, Spices, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Caramel, Dark Chocolate
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Low
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 18 oz / 530 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I finished off another tea I had marked for sipdown last night, so Sipdown September is making some progress (hoping to get the collection count down to 500 by the end of the month!) I’ve taken to...” Read full tasting note
    84
  • “I wanted to write a note for this before I parceled this out for other Steepsterers. I’m not sure, but I think Teavivre changed the name of their original Golden Monkey to Premium Golden Monkey...” Read full tasting note
    79
  • “Leaf: Dry, it smells bright, with malty undercurrents. Wet, the leaf smells sweet, almost fruity. About half of the long, thin leaves are a pale gold. Water: Bubbles are formed on the bottom of the...” Read full tasting note
  • “I really like the Premium Golden Monkey tea and this, the regular version of the Golden Monkey has pretty strong review on Steepster, so I my expectations were high. Meh – a surprised but emphatic...” Read full tasting note
    75

From Teavivre

Origin: Shanghouyang Village, Songluo Township, Fu’an City, Fujian Province, China

Plucking: One bud with one or two leaves

Dry Tea:Lightly-curved leaves, twisted into tight thin strips with some golden tips interspersed

Aroma:Floral & fruity with notes of caramel

Liquor: Bright orange-yellow color

Taste:Sweet taste with hits of caramel and honey, mellow and soft cup revealing the undertones of sweet aftertaste, producing saliva in mouth.

Tree Bush: Fuyun No.6

This tea originates from the beautiful Fujian Province of China and is carefully crafted with plucking standard of one bud with one or two leaves. It uses Fuyun No.6 tea cultivar as raw material that features with sweet and mellow taste. Teavivre’s Golden Monkey Black Tea is not only offers a full-bodied aroma, but also tastes without any bitterness or astringency. Even on the first sip, you can still easily catch its pleasant sweetness, accompanied by a touch of honey and caramel. Overall, this is a real treat for black tea lovers and can be endured multiple infusions in a session. Given its remarkable sweet taste, we suggest you enjoy that and add nothing to this tea. However, you can also add sugar or milk to make a more wonderful cup based on your preference.

About Teavivre View company

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14 Tasting Notes

84
356 tasting notes

I finished off another tea I had marked for sipdown last night, so Sipdown September is making some progress (hoping to get the collection count down to 500 by the end of the month!) I’ve taken to making herbals in the evening in my Japanese teapot, since it’s easy to bag these (they don’t need ample expansion to still taste great and that makes cleanup in the teapot super easy) and I can just leave them in the pot without them turning bitter and astringent, and then I just keep refilling my cup as I watch YouTube videos before bed. This switch has also been discouraging me from grabbing caffeinated teas around bedtime, which really aren’t very helpful for my sleep schedule…

Now that it’s morning I can pull out the caffeine. I am so in the mood for a Chinese black. I have two different Golden Monkey teas, one from TeaVivre and one from Dazzle Deer (for all I know maybe they use the same source, how would I know?) but in any event, I decided to try the TeaVivre one first. I believe this one came from Ost’s cupboard sale not long ago, so thank you very much Ost!

First up, Baby Gaiwan session. I’m loving that the new kettle isn’t nearly as heavy as the old one and the water is easier to control when pouring into Baby Gaiwan. I’m already quite smitten with the Lady. (Somehow that’s the name that stuck on day one… don’t ask me why I name my teaware, because I don’t have a proper answer.)

2g / 50ml / 194F / Rinse|5s|10s|15s|20s|25s|45s|60s

The dry leaf doesn’t smell very notable to me, other than a bit peppery. After rinsing the tea, the leaf smells like malt, baked bread, raisins, honey, and stonefruit. The steeped liquor is a deep, golden orange color. The aroma from the first steep was very malty, with notes of apricot and orange, some honey sweetness, and slightly smokey. The flavor was very malty, tasting of baked bread and sweet apricots, with some smokiness on the finish. The next steeps brought out some notes of raisins, peach, orange rind, and yams, with the smoky finish becoming weaker, and a chocolately aftertaste appearing on the tongue. There was a very mild dryness left on the tongue, but not so much as to be unpleasant. By the fourth steep the smokiness in the finish had disappeared, but the flavor had also already become very mild. The aroma from the cup was wonderful, smelling like melted caramel, honey, and cinnamon, but the flavor was a much weaker malt, orange, and apricot taste. With the smoky finish gone, a spice note now appeared on the finish. I wrapped it up by the seventh infusion since it was obvious the tea just wasn’t giving much anymore at that point.

Since the flavors started to weaken so early into the session, it is my guess that perhaps age may have something to do with it. With cupboard sales there is no way of knowing which harvest the leaf is from, so there is a chance this may be some much older Golden Monkey. There was quite nice, defined flavors during the first three steeps, but after that it seemed pretty exhausted already.

Next up, a western brewed cuppa with my breakfast. Which I’m eating at noon. Because it’s Sunday and I’m lazy. (Breakfast was the gong fu session, lunch is now breakfast. Don’t judge.)

2.5g / 350ml / 194F / 3m

The aroma of the tea smells like mandarin oranges, chocolate, and cinnamon. I’m surprised how different this tea has come out in a western brew. It’s a much richer flavor, that has a more mild malty note, and instead of tasting stonefruit and honey, I’m getting a thick chocolate flavor, with hints of orange and spices on the finish. It’s still a very nice tea brewed this way, I just wish some of the apricot/peach and malted honey notes had shown up… it’s quite a vast contrast. The very mild astringency I was getting from the gong fu brew was also not present from the western brew, so there is also that. Despite the less complex flavor of the western brew, the chocolate/spice flavor alone would make me happy to brew this up before work and use this black as a morning daily drinker.

I prefer the variety of flavor on this more in the gong fu, but not how quickly it gave out on infusions, which makes me more inclined to use this for western steeping… hmm. I think I’ll play with this one more. Next time I gong fu it I think I’ll use my shiboridashi, which holds more leaf and water, and do fewer infusions at slightly longer steep times. My next western cup I think I’ll knock down the steep time to two minutes, and see if it doesn’t bring out some of the sweeter notes a bit. I also want to compare to the Dazzle Deer Golden Monkey I have, since I know the exact harvest date on that tea (it’s an April 2017), and that may make quite a difference compared to the flavors in this one, since there is a chance this may be an older tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Orange, Peach, Raisins, Smoke, Spices, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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79
2547 tasting notes

I wanted to write a note for this before I parceled this out for other Steepsterers. I’m not sure, but I think Teavivre changed the name of their original Golden Monkey to Premium Golden Monkey when they started selling this one? I’m not sure what I expected from this one as Teavivre’s other Golden Monkey was never what I wished it was. I haven’t had the Premium in a while, so I’m not sure how this compares. The leaves are mostly black with only hints of gold with many gold dustings on my teaspoon once I’ve scooped it out. The flavor is neither light nor dark, it’s a nice middle ground of sweet sweet chocolate. But then the second steep kind of loses even that sweet chocolate and becomes a much more plain tasting. It could be the steeping parameters aren’t spot on. I’m glad the flavor isn’t light, but I do like my preferable Golden Monkey to be very dark chocolate with honey notes. Is it just me or does black tea not have that wine note that it did a few years ago? Maybe I haven’t been buying as many fresh teas lately and maybe the wine note is only in fresh teas? Or maybe it only happened in harvests of a few years ago. Or possibly my taste buds have changed. I do notice that many of Teavivre’s teas seem to have a bigger leaf now, which means higher quality, but to me, a bigger leaf means a lighter flavor. (For example, a couple of the keemuns lately have huge leaves now.) But that’s just my tastes.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Harvest: 2017

Edited to add: Mary Bao from Teavivre did say I was correct about the name change in an e-mail: “You’re right, we changed the name of our original Golden Monkey to Premium Golden Monkey when this version started selling.” Just in case anyone was wondering!

Starfevre

I’ve only ever tasted a wine note in Darjeelings.

tea-sipper

Hmm.. to my taste, I usually find the wine flavor in darker teas. But it definitely wasn’t every black tea that I would drink. Probably only a handful would have that note.

Starfevre

I might be missing some wine flavours since I don’t actually drink wine and am not really attuned to it specifically.

tea-sipper

Well, I don’t drink wine either so maybe I’m full of it. haha.

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28 tasting notes

Leaf: Dry, it smells bright, with malty undercurrents. Wet, the leaf smells sweet, almost fruity. About half of the long, thin leaves are a pale gold.

Water: Bubbles are formed on the bottom of the kettle and began being released.

Amount: I used approximately 1 tablespoon of tea for 8 oz of water.

First steeping:
1 minute: The tea is a deep, dark brown. It tastes very malty.

Second steeping:
3 minutes: The tea is now a rich amber color. It still tastes malty, but there’s a slight flavor with it that is almost slightly fungal.

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75
125 tasting notes

I really like the Premium Golden Monkey tea and this, the regular version of the Golden Monkey has pretty strong review on Steepster, so I my expectations were high.

Meh – a surprised but emphatic meh. This tea simply lacks the balance and refinement of its premium counterpart in taste. The golden buds seem to be completely lost and underwhelming, while the black tea part assaults you with harshness and unrefined boldness. The smell is meh as well. Given that the price of the premium version is only $3 higher per 100 grams I see no reasons whatsoever to buy the regular Golden Monkey from Teavivre.

I even stopped after only two gaiwan infusions and had no desire to continue and finish the tasting, which is very unusual for me. Luckily, it was a free sample that came with my order and I don’t have to force myself to invent a mood that would call for this tea in order to finish the remaining 45- 95 grams. That’s why I never buy a tea I have not previously tried in any quantity but a sample regardless of dazzling reviews and beguiling discounts.

ashmanra

About five or six years ago, Harney and Sons posted in the description on their site that the current harvest of GM was not as sweet as the previous year due to a drought in the area. I have never seen that with another tea, and wonder if this particular type is especially affected. Perhaps this is just a lesser harvest, while the earlier ones were sweeter or more full-bodied? I generally buy the Premium Golden Monkey, too.

Bluegreen

You are very likely to be onto something. In my experience, even lower grades of Teavivre teas are usually quite drinkable and frequently offer interesting different profiles from the premium ones (e.g., I really like the boldness of their Second Grade Keemun. That’s why this Golden Monkey was such a disappointment for me.

But in any case, their Premium Golden Monkey is so good that I will leave this mystery unsolved and just stick with it.

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98
236 tasting notes

Five years ago, I had the pleasure of trying Teavivre’s exceptional Premium Golden Monkey Black tea. That tea still stands out as the premier Golden Monkey tea that I’ve tasted.

Recently, Teavivre was selling its “standard” Golden Monkey tea selection at a great price. Even though I had been spoiled by the premium offering, the discount on this one was too good to resist. I decided to take a chance and reasoned that if it had at least an OK flavor, it would be worth the money.

When I opened the silver shipping bag, my nose was greeted with a semi-sweet and earthy Chinese black tea aroma. The leaves were long and brown with equal amounts of golden accompaniments.

I steeped the tea at 195 degrees for four minutes (one degree higher and one minute more than the recommended method) as I like my teas at maximum strength.

The brewed color was dark and golden. The smell was sweet and chocolaty and much more intoxicating than in its pre-liquefied state.

The closest word I could think of to describe the flavor of my first sip was SUPERB! The taste was rich with chocolate, caramel, honey, and other sweet accents, without making it a chocolate drink. The sum total of the flavor recalled my memories of a brown sugar ice cream cone.

This taste remained amazingly consistent through two rapidly demolished cupfuls. Even with the steady bombardment of the robust flavor, I didn’t detect any bitterness whatsoever. The entire experience was incredibly smooth. The aftertaste was delicate and it dissolved quietly.

This is an awesome Golden Monkey tea which I HIGHLY recommend. I will mainly be drinking it in the morning but this selection could just as easily be served to your favorite guests at your most special events.

I am very pleased with myself that I rolled the dice and purchased a pound of this tea at the discounted price. My only concern is that I will devour the entire pound too quickly!

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Honey

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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81
9755 tasting notes

soooooooooooooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooooored….with my cupboard. Honestly 2 pages of tea cupboard is not enough. that is all. haha

Evol Ving Ness

That problem should be solved within the coming weeks. :)

Sil

soooo far away…. i was really hoping for capital teas to show up to hold me over until the US orders start coming in. At least tomorrow i can weigh my cupboard and see how well i did before i get all those orders in haha

CrowKettle

I’m sorry Sil, but I need the orders to not come in soon. I’m so swamped… Too many oolongs making everything so much more than the puny grams/ozs listed.

Hopefully Toronto sees tea long before Vancouver does! <.<

Sil

hahahahaha well the US orders will take a few….and my china orders will be longer. But here’s hoping canada orders get here this weekend!

Sil

also i have fewer teas than you! mwahahahaha (for now…)

Fjellrev

How the hell do I have double the teas you do? Madness!

Sil

Not for long sadly….not for long…

CrowKettle

It’s not right. The world has come to some great unbalance. You’re supposed to be a three-digit cupboard!

Fjellrev

Right? Is this even real life anymore?

Sil

oh god. no more 3 digit cupboards….besides this is nice..well sort of. i hate note having options but it means that next week i get to puerh puerh puerh!

Arby

Your quality of life must be terrible. I hope your teas in the mail get to you soon.

Sil

haha thanks arby! 1st world problems i know!

Evol Ving Ness

The world has come to some great unbalance. hahahhahahaha!

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90
939 tasting notes

This is one delicious tea. This cup is all sweet potato and bittersweet chocolate.

Thank you, Teavivre, for the sample of this tea.

And thank you also for being such a generous supporter of all of us here on Steepster. And yes, yes, I realize that we support you too through our reviews and our purchases, but your fairness, decency, and generosity—in addition to your reliable product and excellent customer service— goes a long long way, especially when we witness various tricks of other vendors. So thank you.

LuckyMe

I echo your sentiment about Teavivre. I really respect them as a tea company for their honesty, customer service, and of course the fabulous teas!

Evol Ving Ness

I was reminded of this by a recent contest posted here in Steepster in which the random free tea winners were apparently cherry-picked by the tea vendor. Out of principle, I will not ever support such a vendor. Ever.

Jlvintagelove

Yes, that contest was a joke

ashmanra

I missed that contest! I don’t look at the discussion threads much. But I heartily second everything said about Teavivre. Awesome tea at great prices and fantastic service.

TeaVivre

Thanks so much for your support too!

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