81 Tasting Notes
First of all, this not one of the typical varieties of tea tea vendors typically name as “Golden Monkey.” Instead, this is a very large-leaf, Yunnan golden buds type of tea. It is comprised entirely of nice, big, “hairy,” silky smooth, unopened buds.
Vendor describes this tea as having a “roasted nuts flavor,” and I can agree with that. Furthermore, the tea has a nice “autumn leaves” aroma, and hints of maple syrup sweetness. Not as concentrated a maple sweetness that I found in a similar tea from Harney and Sons, but this is close. And really not a bad deal at $14.99/4 oz. on Amazon.com.
This is a great budget-friendly purchase for a higher-quality Yunnan tea. I’ve been getting up to three satisfactory steeps from this one, and it delivers the qualities of a lighter Yunnan black tea that I am looking for.
I think I will continue to sip other golden buds style Yunnan teas (such as the aforementioned one from Harney and Sons, which was absolutely incredible), but I feel that this one is a solid value and not somethin I would mind keeping in my cupboard.
Decent green tea with delicate spring-picked characteristics. But kind of the bare minimum for falling into the category of premium spring green teas. A little sweet, a little nutty, and the barest hint of some florals. Nothing about it really seems to stand out too much for me, and on top of that it feels a little stale; like it is losing its essence. Maybe this was an older lot? I don’t know. The vendor does not give dates of production. You can definitely find better teas at a lesser price.
At $12.99/2.5 ounces of leaves, I saw that this might be a remarkable deal. It has a dubious-sounding brand name, but I figured not much to lose at this price.
Glad I made the purchase – Opening the bag, I noticed a wonderful and surprisingly strong fragrance for an unscented tea. I guess this is the “refreshing woody fragrance” from the vendor’s description. It is indeed a woody fragrance, but also sweet, fruity, and floral. Reminds me a bit of the St Germain elderflower liqueur I had tried out not too long ago.
The leaves are impressive in their appearance, just as pictured. Large leaf white silver needles in the Yunnan style, fairly plump and covered with little “hairs,” the leaves feel so nice and silky smooth in your hands.
Brews to a very pale-yellow color, with a peach tint to it. Very nice delicate flavor – elderflower, green grape, apples, and some oak. Like a chardonnay wine. Good for two or three steeps at least. Seems to coat the mouth a bit and linger lightly, but not as much as I would hope.
Dry leaf is longer, thinner, and more twisted than any other Keemun I have had. Black leaves with some goldish brown highlights.
Refined and very smooth taste. The floral qualities are more up front, accentuating the orchid/rose notes, but still with a satisfying depth. Some prune-like fruitiness and maybe a touch of wood. Lingers on the palate a bit. Vey nice.
Holy Moly – This one is a surprise hit with me. I continue to be very impressed with this tea. Bumping up my rating.
I was never a big fan of jasmsine tea until recently. This was probably because I had mostly low-quality jasmine teas and/or incorrectly brewed them. I had kind of written the jasmine tea category off as more of a one-note, you’ve-had-one-you’ve-had-them-all type of thing. But still nice to sip on one for an occasional change of pace. Yet I did recall some Trader Joe’s jasmine dragon pearls bagged tea I had a long time ago which was pretty nice.
Recently I had a sample of jasmine pearls from Goartea which was great, and I also have a tin of jasmine pearls from Mighty Leaf which I am liking.
But this one really takes the cake as far as I am concerned. The pouchong tea is really present here, reminding me of the spring pouchong I’ve had from English Tea Store. The leaves are not nearly as pretty in appearance, but the essence is here. The feel, sweetness, body, fruitiness, and non-jasmine florals of that oolong pretty much seem to be here, with the added dimension of the jasmine fragrance. That is important to me in a jasmine tea – Having a strong and interesting tea base as a foundation. And this one really makes it happen. All at a much lower price than the typical dragon pearl tea would cost.
A really nice green tea. Maybe a little bit too nice to become a favorite of mine. It has a nectar-like sweetness, but doesn’t feel quite as thick as some other sweet green teas I have been impressed with. Light pleasant floral-fruity osmanthus notes and a whisper of nuttiness, but so far lacking in any interesting quirks or twists to win me over. I’ll keep trying with this one. I’ve often changed my mind on a tea after a few brews.
This tea is enjoyable, but not great. It seems like a basic Shui Hsien oolong (according to my very limited knowledge of Shui Hsien teas). You get a good amount of roastiness in the aroma and flavor, a nice orangish-amber color, a medium body, with flavors or honey, walnuts, some woody notes, and a slight tang. I’ll give it to them that maybe the flavor does linger somewhat. Very smooth and well-behaved, and nothing really seems to stand out much about this tea. Doesn’t seem have the delightful tart cherry notes or floral aspects I’ve found in other versions of this tea, so definitely not a favorite of mine.
I am surprised with the quality of the tea, as I expected it to be somewhat worse as a certified USDA organic tea. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but sometimes I understand organic certifications can be a way to make less salable tea varieties more salable. And I haven’t been impressed with some of the other organic teas I have tried.