Review of Golden Monkey

8 of 104 of 53 of 586 of 100

This tea was more pleasant than interesting. I liked it a lot, but found it hard to write as much about it. I also thought it was slightly overpriced.

Dry leaf is very pretty (like many of Murchie's teas, their photo doesn't do it justice, so I took one of my own), with bright golden-orange tips against a dark background, and a slightly curved, wiry shape to the leaf. It has an incredibly strong malty smell, this is among the maltiest of teas I've ever tried.

The brewed cup is also very malty, most like rye malt, and only a few hints of others notes, including cocoa and a hint of vanilla. Overall though the aroma is more strong than it is complex. The flavor and mouthfeel are soft and rich. Flavor is very sweet, lightly savory, and with very little bitterness. Astringent towards the beginning of the sip, but this clears, leaving a clean finish. If brewed more strongly, a light bitterness comes out, and the astringency begins earlier in the sip, but this tea is still smooth and mild.

I preferred drinking this tea on its own, not with food, due to its natural sweetness and rich, full character. It is so satisfying, it might be a good tea to drink an hour or so before a meal to stave off hunger without eating anything.

Resteeped well. If you want a mellower cup you could easily get three steeps out of this, although they might be a bit boring. I preferred only two, using longer steeps to make each cup stronger and bring out the characteristics I liked.

This struck me as a high-quality tea, but the price seems high, even with the exchange rate what it is these days (a good time to buy from Canadian companies). I've been buying more from Yunnan Sourcing recently, and there are comparable-quality or even better teas of similar styles, for half the price.

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