Review of Organic Golden Monkey Black Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
10 of 105 of 54 of 596 of 100
OutstandingExcellentGood Value

This tea is absolutely sublime, but has a price tag to match.

I was wandering around Chicago's Chinatown yesterday looking for interesting tea and saw a display of Prince of Peace's premium "gift box" teas. At $19.99 for 150g, I was worried that the quality wouldn't match the price, but decided to try it anyway. I wasn't disappointed. I wouldn't call it a bargain, but it's certainly worth what I paid and I'll likely be trying the other premium varieties from Prince of Peace.

The inner pouch is sealed with enough air to protect the long, twisted and unbroken leaves. The aroma of the dry tea is earthy, malty and sweet, being very recognizable as a Yunnan gold or golden monkey. Most of the twisted strands have the characteristic golden tips. This is probably the highest quality black tea I've ever found on a grocery store shelf.

I brewed the tea Western style for four minutes with boiling water. The aroma is powerfully malty, reminiscent of molasses. The flavor is intensely malty as well, but nicely balanced with more astringency than I remember in other golden style black teas. I also recall other similar teas having a smokier, more chocolate flavor than this one does, with the flavor of this tea having more notes of golden treacle or brown sugar. As the tea cools, the heavy sweetness coupled with the astringency and a light bitterness combine to create notes of tannic dried fruit like prunes or raisins.

I steeped the tea for a second time and was pleasantly surprised. If I had only been served this cup, I would guess that it was a Darjeeling blend. The malty sweetness is less pronounced and the tannic astringency more so, changing the balance so that it tastes like a light Indian tea. If you decide to drink this tea, be sure to make time for the second infusion.

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Comments:

Alex Zorach wrote:
on March 28th, 2017

I recognize this box from a store in Philly's Chinatown! I've seen these exact boxes for sale and been curious what kind of quality they offer...never had the guts to take the plunge (I've had a number of disappointing experiences with other Chinatown brands and I usually stick to ones I know like Foojoy's loose teas).

I have seen consistently good reviews of this company's tea bag teas though, I've tried their white tea, and while I'm not crazy about white tea in tea bags, it was pretty good for what it was.

This tea sounds pretty good, although at that price it's also competing with a number of very good teas.

Difflugia wrote:
on March 29th, 2017

I normally wouldn't have either, but the shop I saw it in specialized in things like high-quality ginseng and dried seafood. Since this was the only brand of tea in the shop, I was hoping that they wouldn't risk alienating clientele that apparently spend $200 a pound on abalone by selling them bad tea.

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