Slightly bitter taste. Warming. Very savoury. Perhaps that is why I am the only one to dislike this tea. I prefer sweeter teas (like early grey and vanila black) and certainly don’t need a warning tea where I live. Not for me.
“Slightly bitter taste. Warming. Very savoury. Perhaps that is why I am the only one to dislike this tea. I prefer sweeter teas (like early grey and vanila black) and certainly don’t need a warning...” Read full tasting note
“I guess I’m finally writing tasting notes for my Yunnan Sourcing teas that I bought last year before my dad’s stroke (it will officially be a year in a few days). He is doing good! He is coming...” Read full tasting note
“(2015 harvest) Sipdown! This is my fourth sipdown today, and I’m still going. This is a really typical Fuding black tea. Primarily smoky leather notes, roasted barley, unsweetened cocoa. Mostly the...” Read full tasting note
“Brewing from the 2016 harvest. I tend to use a lot of leaf in my pots and doing so with this tea brought a slight astringency to pucker the cheeks, perhaps the “little bite” in the...” Read full tasting note
Bai Lin Gong Fu Black Tea (aka Golden Monkey) is made from Fuding Bai Hao “White Pekoe” varietal tea leaves. Our Premium grade is a one leaf to 1 bud semi-tippy grade. The tea leaves are picked in sets with 1 leaf and 1 bud. The processing allows for a golden-orange furry tip complemented by a dark leaf.
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Classic Bai Lin Gong Fu Black tea of Fuding * Golden Monkey * Spring 2018Yunnan Sourcing
2015 CLASSIC BAI LIN GONG FU BLACK TEA OF FUDING * GOLDEN MONKEY * SPRING 2015Yunnan Sourcing
Classic Bai Lin Gong Fu Black tea of Fuding * Golden Monkey * Spring 2017Yunnan Sourcing
Imperial Grade Bai Lin Gong Fu Black tea of FudingYunnan Sourcing
Imperial Grade Bai Lin Gong Fu Black tea of Fuding * Spring 2018Yunnan Sourcing
Imperial Grade Bai Lin Gong Fu Black tea of Fuding * Spring 2017Yunnan Sourcing
I guess I’m finally writing tasting notes for my Yunnan Sourcing teas that I bought last year before my dad’s stroke (it will officially be a year in a few days). He is doing good! He is coming along with his speech. AND he has been riding his bike and even went kayaking recently… so to see him doing these things now after seeing him in that ICU bed last year is amazing.
Also, SO MANY awesome books were released today. Sigh. I can never keep up, even if I was reading a book a day. A new Helen Dewitt last week and now There There by Tommy Orange, a new memoir by Porochista Khakpour, and more by Lauren Groff, A.M. Homes, Marisha Pessl and a couple more that sound awesome. AHHH. I am a READER but I am SLOW. Help.
On to the tea… I did buy the 2016 harvest of this because you guys gave it the best rating. The leaves here are twisty and wrapped together, black with hints of gold. I steeped them in a teabag again to make sure the barnacled infusers had no impact on the leaves (to be honest, I haven’t really noticed a difference in the steeping of the YS teas so far anyway, between the teabags and the barnacled infusers.) I do love golden monkey teas. I expect them to result in a black murky brew though. This is more like a light red. There is a complexity to the flavor here, it’s just not as deep and dark as I would like my golden monkeys to be. It’s nice that it’s complex though. Malty, smooth, sweet… hard to describe The second steep seemed more savory but much the same. I really don’t want to have to use two teaspoons of leaves every time to get great flavor. Hmm.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 4-5 minute steep
Sipdown! This is my fourth sipdown today, and I’m still going.
This is a really typical Fuding black tea. Primarily smoky leather notes, roasted barley, unsweetened cocoa. Mostly the leather flavour though.
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Roasted Barley, Smoke
Brewing from the 2016 harvest.
I tend to use a lot of leaf in my pots and doing so with this tea brought a slight astringency to pucker the cheeks, perhaps the “little bite” in the description.
After making an adjustment in my brewing parameters the sweet fruity malt in this tea became apparent.
Reminds me of a robust English breakfast.
This tea is one of the first non-Teavana loose leaf teas I ever tried. I remember not liking it all that much, and I believe swapping it away before I finished the full 50g. This past weekend, I was working near where an online teafriend lives, so I paid him a visit. He gave me a nice goodie bag, including some teas to try and convert me to a life of hong.
This one was totally different than I remember it being. Quite possibly due to my different brewing techniques or something. I liked it quite a bit! I didn’t take particularly good notes, but I do recall liking it, which is more than I can say about it the last time I tried it. Thanks for the tea, James!
This isn’t really much of a review, but as a tasting note, I find it interesting that I had such a different experience with it now and when I first started drinking tea.
Edit Turns out this one was actually the Classic Laoshan Black from Yunnan Sourcing, but there was a labeling mixup. The Bailin actually tasted pretty similarly to how I remember, but I still enjoyed it more than I did before.
For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve hated black tea. Although I grew up in a family of chai drinkers where the kettle was always whistling and strong black tea with milk was served all day long, I was the odd one of the bunch that could never stomach the stuff. The smell and taste of it literally made me sick to my stomach and my aversion to it continued well into adulthood. So after spending over 3 decades assiduously avoiding black tea, my turning point came recently when I discovered this Yunnan black.
I picked this up with my Yunnan Sourcing order for my father who enjoys Golden Monkey tea but had been paying nearly 4x as much for it at Teavana. Out of curiousity I took a whiff of the tea leaves and was intrigued by the delicious malty smell, which was nothing like the black teas I’ve experiencd. So I set aside a small sample for myself.
The first time I brewed this tea it was too tannic and it reaffirmed all of my misgivings about black tea. I stashed it away for a future tea swap and forgot about it. A few months later as I was organizing my stash, I stumbled upon it and decided to give it another go.
This time I under leafed, using a scant teaspoon of leaves for 110ml of water off the boil, steeped for 3 minutes. First steep there was rich, yummy maltiness and chocolate. A moderate amount of tannins but not too off putting and they went away after the 1st steep. The second steep had strong notes of caramel, maple syrup, and some cocoa. The third infusion was sweeter with an astonishing brown sugar like flavor. The later steeps threw off even more brown sugar and left a maple-like sweetness in the throat.
I’m very impressed by this tea. It’s robust flavor, natural sweetness, and low bitterness make it a winner in my book. It’s quickly becoming a part of my regular tea rotation and marks the beginning of my adventure into the world of black tea.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Fruity, Malt, Maple
Dry leaf: (NUT, SWEET, SMOKE) wood smoke/campfire, roast pecans and chestnuts; secondary notes of bitter green/herbal (marjoram?), malt, and dark chocolate. In preheated vessel – roast nut much stronger, molasses; secondary notes of malt and cherry cordial.
Smell: (SWEET, SMOKE, NUT) brûlé, dark caramel, roasted pecans and walnuts; secondary notes of wood smoke; hint of green herbal like marjoram. Overall base of a solid, thick English breakfast tea.
Taste: (MALT, SMOKE, SWEET, NUT) malt, wood smoke, light molasses, roast pecan and chestnut; secondary dark chocolate, green leafiness, strong English breakfast tea, autumn leaves; hints of cherry cordial.
So, once again I got a tea largely due to its awesome name. I was rewarded. This tea has big flavors and great complexity. You can smell it ten feet away after you’ve brewed, and its aftertaste lingers in the mouth for quite a while. The power of the golden monkey is great!
Recommend this for someone looking for a black tea with lots of flavor and lots of personality.
Sipdown! Though I brewed this at the correct temperature of 195˚F, it was slightly bitter (perhaps due to the tea dust at the bottom of the bag). Still smelled divine though. I added milk to this tea for the first time and it was great, sweetness restored. No need for sugar. Perfect for a “high tea” tea when you don’t want to drink this tea as a purist.
I already bought the Imperial Grade of this tea (2017) from Yunnan Sourcing so am interested to compare them tomorrow.