Some of the finest varieties of Golden Monkey are found in the marketplace early in April. Tending to be smaller & thin, these elegant golden-brown leaves offer nuanced flavors characteristic of highest grade Fujianese black teas. Our Golden Monkey is a variety of black teas developed during the height of the early tea trading days in response to the demand of European buyers. These blacks are described as a "fruity Congous". The varietal’s leaf is downy which contributes to its “dusty” state and the bright coloration around the rim of the cup after steeping. The lot we are offering was harvested in the last week of March 2018. Lot # 8-3.
Why we selected this lot. Note the bright golden coloration of the leaves - eye-catching as these first black teas come out. The consistent size, length and shape of the leaves shows skill in handling and processing. The golden color and the decision to stop oxidizing the leaves at this point created an unusual fruit-like flavor. While the aroma is fruity, there are hints of malt. With cupping, the tea proved itself offering a sweet, fruity mouth feel with a clean and lingering finish. Once tasted, we noted its lingering sweetness and its warming effect.
Interesting facts about our selection. The lot was harvested Pre-Qing Ming in late March. As a result, the leaves are comparatively small and short in length. The tea was grown in the Fuding area of Fujian Province, at an elevation of approximately 800 meters. The tea was oxidized in wicker baskets. The processing was done with an eye to maintaining the golden leaf tones. This process also created flavors that are quite natural. Note this tea will offer a subtle warming in the upper body in its finishing.
Taste profile. This golden-brown style offers a complex and multi-layered, fruity aroma. In tasting, we were reminded of fresh Longan fruit. The nuances of the lot are in the cup, as the malty flavors of this tea are brisk and open to the palate. Like most well-made Chinese black teas, particularly from Fujian Province, the taste will grow in the finish.
Brewing suggestions. Use a rounded teaspoon or 3-4 grams per 8-12 ounces of water. The water can be right up to boiling or 195-205 F. Steep for 2-3 minutes and taste. If you like more body, let the leaves steep for 4+ minutes. The leaves will yield 2-3 steeps.