Teas known as “Golden Monkey‘ are included in the large Panyang Congou family of eastern China black tea. Some have a specific place of origin or style of manufacture in their trade name, and others are known simply as being a member of this auspicious family of premium China black teas. There can be considerable variety in the tea that is in a container marked ‘Golden Monkey Tea’. One of the biggest variables among different ‘Golden Monkee’ teas is the inclusion of contrasting-color tip, or not. Whether or not a black tea has ‘tip’ is strictly the decision of the tea maker, sometimes following a long-standing tradition and other times just current convention. Most China black tea has tip, because it tends to be whole leaf tea and hand-formed, which lends itself towards being on the artistic, hand-rolled, and artisanally-fired end of the black tea spectrum. This lot has minimal tip showing in the leaf, so it has more strength in the flavor, a more focused taste, and less of the cacao-y, dry style than when a tea has had tip added or a large percentage of tip brought with it from the pluck.
The budsets are beautifully-formed and when they are steeped they open to the classic shape of an eastern China black tea spring pluck. There is a glorious depth of flavor with a hint of the cacao-like taste that eastern China black teas show in varying degree. We liked this offering because it is lean, and has a brisk, clear and clean style that is more unusual than the more typical, hearty style of modern Golden Monkeys (which we also like – see our Golden Monkey Extra Tippy!)
We know you will enjoy this elegant tea – especially if you are a fan of exquisite premium Keemun mao fengs, fancy Ceylons, and unique Chinese hong cha such as Bai Lin or Ying de #9.
This Golden Monkey can be steeped long or short and while it shows its flavor best when drunk plain, it will be delicious with just a touch of milk, cream, and/or sweetener.