Golden MonkeyWikipedia: Golden_Monkey_tea
Updated: Mar. 14, 2014
About Golden Monkey
Golden Monkey tea from Infuze Tea.
According to the Harney and Sons Guide to Tea, Golden Monkey is made from the da bai or "big white" varietal of the tea plant, one typically used for white tea. Canton Tea Co, however, reports that this type of tea is from the Xiao Cai cultivar. The tea is made from one leaf and a bud, in contrast to the standard plucking of the top two leaves and a bud. The harvest is timed to allow the buds to grow as large as possible while still remaining tender.
This tea tends to have a sweeter flavor and lower astringency than most black teas, owning to its lower tannin content. Its aroma is typically fruity, with tones of cocoa. The fruitiness is often compared to peach, apple, or dried fruit such as raisins.
Although it is a black tea, the tips in its dry leaf have a golden color, hence the name. The name may also originate from a golden rim around the liquor in the brewed cup. Golden monkey tends to be more expensive than a typical black tea due to its high concentration of tips or leaf buds. It is also tends to have more caffeine than other similar black teas, as the tips are higher in caffeine.
According to James Norwood Pratt, this tea originated in Tanyang (Panyong) village in the Minbei region, and was developed for export to Europe. Sometimes this type of tea is marketed as Panyong congou or Panyong wang, referencing its town of origin. These Panyong teas however are a broader category, also including teas that do not have as much golden tip.
Other Similar Black Teas With Gold TipsGolden monkey is distinct from golden needle tea, a black tea made exclusively of buds, and is also distinct from Yunnan gold, a similar tea from Yunnan province. Yunnan gold shares some qualities in common with Golden monkey, but has a distinct aroma and flavor, and is often described as having a peppery quality.
Sometimes companies market teas from Yunnan province as Golden Monkey, usually without providing any information as to style or varietal; in the absence of any further information, we usually list these teas as Golden Monkey, but they may be mis-labelled Yunnan Golds. Uncommonly, the term "golden monkey" is also applied high grades of Keemun that is rich in golden tips and has a similar appearance.
1. Michale Harney, Harney and Sons Guide to Tea, 2008.
2. James Norwood Pratt, Tea Dictionary, 2010, pp. 119.
Best Golden Monkey
The notion of the "best" Golden Monkey is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.