Classic Bai Lin Gong Fu Black Tea of Fuding * Golden Monkey 2016

Tea type
Black Tea
Not available
Cocoa, Leather, Roasted Barley, Smoke, Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Fruity, Maple, Caramel, Kettle Corn, Chestnut
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Bulk, Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Evol Ving Ness
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 4 g 8 oz / 232 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Bai Lin Gong Fu Black Tea (aka Golden Monkey) is made from Fuding Bai Hao “White Pekoe” varietal tea leaves. Our Premium grade is a one leaf to 1 bud semi-tippy grade. The tea leaves are picked in sets with 1 leaf and 1 bud. The processing allows for a golden-orange furry tip complemented by a dark leaf.

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21 Tasting Notes

2179 tasting notes

(2015 harvest)

Sipdown! This is my fourth sipdown today, and I’m still going.

This is a really typical Fuding black tea. Primarily smoky leather notes, roasted barley, unsweetened cocoa. Mostly the leather flavour though.

Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Roasted Barley, Smoke

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

woot! go you!

Evol Ving Ness

hey, I’m impressed with one sip down and four, well, wow!

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64 tasting notes

Brewing from the 2016 harvest.

I tend to use a lot of leaf in my pots and doing so with this tea brought a slight astringency to pucker the cheeks, perhaps the “little bite” in the description.

After making an adjustment in my brewing parameters the sweet fruity malt in this tea became apparent.

Reminds me of a robust English breakfast.

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718 tasting notes

This tea is the business.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Smoke

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

..and this is how I get sucked in to buying a bunch of Chinese black teas before my official Chinese black tea revival of 2018. :0

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450 tasting notes

This tea is one of the first non-Teavana loose leaf teas I ever tried. I remember not liking it all that much, and I believe swapping it away before I finished the full 50g. This past weekend, I was working near where an online teafriend lives, so I paid him a visit. He gave me a nice goodie bag, including some teas to try and convert me to a life of hong.

This one was totally different than I remember it being. Quite possibly due to my different brewing techniques or something. I liked it quite a bit! I didn’t take particularly good notes, but I do recall liking it, which is more than I can say about it the last time I tried it. Thanks for the tea, James!

This isn’t really much of a review, but as a tasting note, I find it interesting that I had such a different experience with it now and when I first started drinking tea.

Edit Turns out this one was actually the Classic Laoshan Black from Yunnan Sourcing, but there was a labeling mixup. The Bailin actually tasted pretty similarly to how I remember, but I still enjoyed it more than I did before.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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9346 tasting notes

Finished this one off today with a little maple syrup. I had a dream last night about the other JustTea tea tha ti need to review, but was unable to get to this weekend. At least one is done but i was dreaming about the other so hopefully the weather will cool a little so i can get to it.


Ha. I’m surprised I’m not dreaming about the other JusTea tea I need to review! :D

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282 tasting notes

For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve hated black tea. Although I grew up in a family of chai drinkers where the kettle was always whistling and strong black tea with milk was served all day long, I was the odd one of the bunch that could never stomach the stuff. The smell and taste of it literally made me sick to my stomach and my aversion to it continued well into adulthood. So after spending over 3 decades assiduously avoiding black tea, my turning point came recently when I discovered this Yunnan black.

I picked this up with my Yunnan Sourcing order for my father who enjoys Golden Monkey tea but had been paying nearly 4x as much for it at Teavana. Out of curiousity I took a whiff of the tea leaves and was intrigued by the delicious malty smell, which was nothing like the black teas I’ve experiencd. So I set aside a small sample for myself.

The first time I brewed this tea it was too tannic and it reaffirmed all of my misgivings about black tea. I stashed it away for a future tea swap and forgot about it. A few months later as I was organizing my stash, I stumbled upon it and decided to give it another go.

This time I under leafed, using a scant teaspoon of leaves for 110ml of water off the boil, steeped for 3 minutes. First steep there was rich, yummy maltiness and chocolate. A moderate amount of tannins but not too off putting and they went away after the 1st steep. The second steep had strong notes of caramel, maple syrup, and some cocoa. The third infusion was sweeter with an astonishing brown sugar like flavor. The later steeps threw off even more brown sugar and left a maple-like sweetness in the throat.

I’m very impressed by this tea. It’s robust flavor, natural sweetness, and low bitterness make it a winner in my book. It’s quickly becoming a part of my regular tea rotation and marks the beginning of my adventure into the world of black tea.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Fruity, Malt, Maple

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Evol Ving Ness

This is some sort of miracle. It gladdens my heart that you have found your way back to the, potentially, glorious world that is black tea.


Haha, indeed its a minor miracle. I think low quality teas had clouded my perception of black tea. Happy to finally discover the good stuff!

Evol Ving Ness


I am putting this tea that prompted your conversion on my list of things to order the next time that happens.

Gooseberry Spoon

Now you have an entire section of YS to catch up on!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, LuckyMe, for telling us about this tea. Mine arrived the other and omigoodness, delicious delicious delicious. My addiction for this one is all on you.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s something I might want to try to, isn’t it Evol and Luckyme?


@Evol Ving Ness So glad you liked it…always happy to be an enabler!
@Daylon R Thomas I’d definitely check it out if you’re planning a YS order. It’s a pretty amazing tea and inexpensive to boot

Evol Ving Ness

Daylon, it might be a bit too strong for you, but I think you should give it a go anyway. With a light hand. Light hand, do you hear me? :)

Evol Ving Ness

And yes, LuckyMe, this one will likely be on the regular with me for some time.

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126 tasting notes

Dry leaf: (NUT, SWEET, SMOKE) wood smoke/campfire, roast pecans and chestnuts; secondary notes of bitter green/herbal (marjoram?), malt, and dark chocolate. In preheated vessel – roast nut much stronger, molasses; secondary notes of malt and cherry cordial.

Smell: (SWEET, SMOKE, NUT) brûlé, dark caramel, roasted pecans and walnuts; secondary notes of wood smoke; hint of green herbal like marjoram. Overall base of a solid, thick English breakfast tea.

Taste: (MALT, SMOKE, SWEET, NUT) malt, wood smoke, light molasses, roast pecan and chestnut; secondary dark chocolate, green leafiness, strong English breakfast tea, autumn leaves; hints of cherry cordial.

So, once again I got a tea largely due to its awesome name. I was rewarded. This tea has big flavors and great complexity. You can smell it ten feet away after you’ve brewed, and its aftertaste lingers in the mouth for quite a while. The power of the golden monkey is great!

Recommend this for someone looking for a black tea with lots of flavor and lots of personality.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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140 tasting notes

This review is for the Spring 2015 harvest. Love the insane aroma of these leaves, so malty and sweet, with a fruity-caramel-sweetness of candied haw fruit (the kind they sell candy-coated on skewers in China). Dry leaf is delicate thin rolled threads, unfurls to full leaves when wet. Brewed in my 75ml gaiwan.

1st infusion: (20s, 206˚F)
Probably 10 – 15s would have been better. Coppery orange liquor, delicious sweet caramel corn aroma, tasted bitter from overbrewing.

2nd infusion: (20s, 208˚F)
Fragrance still delicious, but still tastes bitter. Maybe needs to be brewed at 195˚F.

3rd infusion: (20s, 195˚F)
Much better, bitterness is gone. This tea is meant to be brewed around 195.

I tested brewing this tea at 205˚F, 200˚F, 195˚F, and 190˚F.

205˚F was nigh-undrinkable and the sweetness was lost 200˚F was still burnt, bitter, not sweet and the second infusion was super astringent 195˚F was gorgeous, aromatic, not as sweet-tasting as I expected but not as burnt or bitter as the previous 2 190˚F has less fragrance, duller aroma that isn’t sweet.

Verdict: The sweet spot is probably around 193-194˚F.

Flavors: Caramel, Kettle Corn, Malt

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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95 tasting notes

Oooo, My first impression was this is “nutty” of some sort. Macadamia? No… not walnut or almond, either. But a tree nut nonetheless. Like, acorn or chestnuts. Chestnuts! That’s what I’ve decided! Haha!

Flavors: Chestnut

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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1755 tasting notes

This tea is hard to describe. It’s got some malt flavor in there. Maybe baked bread. There’s a hard to identify sweet note. Overall this is good tea. If this doesn’t wake me up nothing will. It’s a very strong tea.

I brewed this tea once with a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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