Golden Monkey

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
Apple, Chestnut, Malt, Smoked, Chocolate, Honey, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Leather, Oak, Pine, Toast
Sold in
Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Michael
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 oz / 281 ml

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94 Tasting Notes View all

From Adagio Teas

Golden Monkey or Jin Hou is a famous Chinese black tea whose leaves are said to resemble monkey paws. Golden Monkey originates from the Fujian province of China and is hand-processed each spring with careful plucking of only one leaf and one bud. This Golden Monkey is sweet and very “nosy”: savory roasted apples, palm sugar, walnut, cocoa, rye and spice notes that linger as you sip. Rich, coating texture and very smooth, soft mouthfeel are both signs of a quality Jin Hou. This is a very complex black tea and can be enjoyed in multiple infusions, a real treat for black tea lovers.

Ingredients: Chinese black tea

Steeping Instructions: Steep at 212° for 3-5 minutes.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

94 Tasting Notes

328 tasting notes

Thanks to Soccer Mom for my Golden Monkey taste championship – Adagio vs Teas Etc. The verdict: Adagio… The Adagio’s version is much bolder, malty-er. In fact, I find that I may have a new mission: which vendor supplies the “best” golden monkey?

Sure the award-winning Teas, Etc had more golden leaves and brewed to a darker liquor but where was the taste?

Miss Sweet

Ooh, I had dismissed Golden Monkey because I’ve only tried tleafT’s version which tasted like nothing. I need to keep an eye out for other suppliers of this!


I totally agree with you. I like Adagio’s better not that Tea’s Etc is bad it’s just not as flavorful and I like lots of bold flavor. As you can see I am on this Golden Monkey mission (you mentioned) myself so let me know if you find a better one. :)


I loved the Golden Monkey from Teas etc so this means I’m going to have to try adagio’s


Yes Dan try it!


Never been a fan of golden monkey, but good to know =]


SoccerMom- Maybe when TeasEtc. mailed you its Golden Monkey the batch of tea wasn’t as fresh “as usual” as people really rave about the Teas, Etc. version?
Also, even though many vendors sell a tea called “Golden Monkey”, there seems to be a wide range of flavors and quality between vendors….

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382 tasting notes

Well, my last Upton sample is green Earl Grey, which is simply Not Suited for being my morning tea, so I’m going to get started on a new project! The Great Finish Off My Adagio Samples That Have Been Taking Up Space In My Cupboard For Ages To Make Room For More Samples Project! (or TGFOMASTHBTUSIMCFATMRFMS Project for short)

Does anybody else do this thing where you end up not drinking your favorite samples all that often because you don’t want to finish them off and be left with the not so great samples? That is what has happened to Golden Monkey. I love this stuff, but the sample tin tends to sit in the back of the tea cupboard, neglected due to my miserliness. Poor Golden Monkey. This tea has a lot going on; I was thinking “smoky” when I was drinking it earlier, but reading the other notes, malty is definitely the right word.
I let this steep for a stupid long time this morning because I was distracted trying to find all the April Fool’s jokes I could before leaving for class, so the end result is extremely strong and extremely malty. Suitable for mornings, when nothing else gets through the post wake-up fog, but I was definitely wishing for more subtlety by the end of the mug.

Boiling 8 min or more
Jim Marks

This is why I don’t buy samples.


I don’t know about samples, but with tea in general, I tend to keep drinking all my favorites over and over again when I have untasted tea in the cupboard. I guess it’s like meeting the same friends you’ve known a long time and have a shared history instead of making a giant effort to start/nurture a new friendship. But, it’s a new day tomorrow and I hope to make an effort …!

Jim Marks

If I have as-yet-untasted tea, even my most prized favorite cannot tempt me away from satisfying my curiosity =)


Ewa, I have tried two Golden Monkey Teas first one from an Adagio sampler and then the S.S. Teas Etc award winning one and I prefer the Adagio one it’s much more malty. It is strange how subjective the palate is.

Lauren- I’m with you an old favorite tea is what I go for before a untried tea. I think it’s just loyalty or something :)


I am inspired by Ewa & Jim Marks – I am currently tea-less (gasp, shocking I know) so I am going to go & pick out something totally new to try, but the betting is good that I will revert to a ‘tried & true favorite’ ere long! LOL!


But but, guys! What if you drink all of your super tasty tea and then you try your samples and they are not very good! That would be the most terrible thing ever. Trying is a separate issue though, tea that I have not tasted yet just sitting in my cupboard is driving me insane with curiosity without even trying. It’s after I’ve tried it and formed preferences that the problems start…
The Adagio Golden Monkey is the only one I’ve ever tried, but if it’s the one with more character, I’ll just stick with that.

Jim Marks

My nightmare would be running out of the teas I love and rely on, so I’m much more likely (out of curiosity) to try something new and untested, and then if I don’t love it, get it used up and out of the way. I know that if I go back to the favorites and use them up and all I have left is the stuff I don’t like, I’ll just order more of something else and eventually end up wasting this stuff as stale.

If I truly hate something I’ll give it away or put it in the compost pile. Otherwise, I just consume it and move on.

But I think I might be weird and borderline OCD so feel free to ignore me :-)


No no no, cannot ignore you, Jim Marks – you provide too much insight about teas (not just here but on my other posts)! But I am going to go pick out something I’ve never tasted before … I’m off on a new-tea adventure!


I totally get the “drink it to get it out of the way” thing. Right now my main problem is I have so many I haven’t tasted I am feeling overwhelmed. I guess I should have a cup of tea to relax. :-)


Oh man, choice paralysis is also something I am intimately familiar with. Just close your eyes and grab something! OR formulate a list based on arbitrary criteria! mmm, lists.
Also! you can switch off! New thing, known thing, new thing, known thing. If you get too caught up in the “must try all the samples before I go back to my known tea” it starts just feeling like work.


I agree, Ewa!

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176 tasting notes

Just finished off another sample. Apparently most of the teas taking up space in my cupboard had just one steeping left. This project might be easier than I thought.

I’ve had a very love/hate relationship with this tea. It seems to have two distinctly different personalities (depending on how much attention I put into steeping it, of course.) I brewed it a little strong today, because there would have been no point in keeping the leftover… and it tastes quite nice that way.

Changing the rating to an ‘official’ 75. I likely won’t buy any more, so this is my final say. :)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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323 tasting notes

Sipdown. Kind of a light flavor, as there’s only about a teaspoon of this left for ~10 oz of tea, but that’s okay. I didn’t want anything too heavy at night anyway.

I’m glad to have my kettle back – I brought it to a friend’s house for a tea party, and then forgot it there. Thankfully we had plans two days later for another tea party (ha!) so my baby is back with me. The day I was without it I didn’t drink much tea – I’ve been so spoiled with the temp controls that I don’t know how to make greens with the regular kettle! (I mean, I can. But I’m lazy. The electric is also heaps faster.)

This tea is malty and dark, and there’s something in the smell I can’t quite identify – it’s almost like sesame seeds and caramel candy. It’s very good, though.

(That was a long rant for a short tasting note. Oh well.)

195 °F / 90 °C

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371 tasting notes

To everyone who suggested I try this cold brewed: thank you!!!!!

The maltiness receded and there’s a new sweetness to it. I wish that the maltiness was even further in the background, but this is a yummy black iced tea. I’m bumping up the rating (the original being a 65). Still NE.


I never even thought of trying this iced. It was one of my favorites hot, I’ll have to see if I like it this way too!


What Erin said.


LOL! Erin: I had it in my warped mind that you were one of the people who suggested trying this iced. I went back and checked. Apparently it was JaquelineM’s suggestion, and a handful of people chirped up and said that it sounded like a good idea. So, THANK YOU to JaquelineM :D

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4843 tasting notes


This is a really nice Golden Monkey. Perhaps not the best I’ve ever tried, but certainly worth a try. Nice and chocolate-y. Interesting apple note. Not overly peppery, a very subdued spice note. Here is my full-length review of this tea:


Your link doesn’t seem to work. Can’t find the post on the webite – through the main page – either. Just so you know.


Forget the latter, found the review through the search box on the website :-)


You know what, just forget this entire post. Now the link does work. Probably a problem with my connection. I thought they had fixed that, but apperently I’ll have to be calling the internetprovider again… (Last time they where here they discovered that they had accidently given our faster connection to the neighbors and their slower connection to us! Can you believe it?? Arrugg).

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2238 tasting notes

This is an unexpectedly beautiful tea. The leaves are long and wiry, and sort of variagated in colour. The tips are a pale golden brown, which gradually darkens to a dusty brown almost-black. The scent is sweet and malty, with slight notes of chocolate and smoke. It’s certainly an intriguing tea, and one I’m really looking forward to trying.

I gave this four minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I think milk is a comfort thing for me; I had a challenging day in clearing yesterday, and I couldn’t imagine a non-milky drink tonight. This is a tea that seems to stand up well to milk, fortunately, but I will try it without before my sample is gone.

Brewed, the scent is much the same as it is dry, and the taste is much the same as the scent. It doesn’t look particularly substantial; the liquor is a golden brown even after four minutes, but the taste is deep and rich. It’s very sweet and malty, with hints of chocolate and cocoa in the aftertaste. I’m not the biggest Adagio fan, but this is one of the most intriguing black teas I’ve tried in a while. I’m going to enjoy finishing this sample, and picking up more of the nuances. This is definitely my kind of tea!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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1379 tasting notes

The leaves are brown with some golden tips amongst them. Not the best quality (no hairs or reflectors on the tips etc) but it is at least fair quality. They have a wonderful sweet malted scent with hints of dried fruit.

Flavour is sweet and malted with rich and creamy tones. It’s beautifully smooth with no astringency or harshness. There is also a dried fig like flavour present in the after taste.

A delicious tea that may not be of the best quality but offers satisfaction for an every day cup of tea.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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828 tasting notes

Another from the sampler, this is GOOD! It’s earthy and malty, and a clearly good cup of tea! I was surprised at how much I like this one. I gave it to my husband to try and he declared it a “strong” cup of tea. I almost finished it, but left it out for a while and it ended up being pretty cold. And surprise, it was really good cold as well! This is a surprise winner for me; I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Now, if only I can ignore this sample until I try at least one cup from each of the other samples. :)

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259 tasting notes

This tea is from RABS and her wonderful Geek package. The rules stipulate that I not try more than three a day. I’m trying to limit myself to just one a day so that the bliss lasts longer.

Today I rolled a “2” on the die. The beautiful package yielded a most generous sample of Adagio’s “Golden Monkey.” I like Adagio a lot. Although they can sometimes be “off” a bit or even a lot, they offer some really exquisite teas for what I consider a most reasonable price. I also think that the “blend your own” tea can make a wonderful gift and have used it four times thus far….but I digress.

I wanted to have this tea hot. I know that I could have opted for iced, but I was feeling a bit urgent. I love the image of monkeys high in the tea trees, gripping the bud in their little hands (while a primate compadre carefully and contemplatively picks the fleas off his tea-picking amigo).

This tea is malty and earthy in all the best ways—not too much, but sufficiently pronounced that I like it a lot. I detect some chocolate notes and I see how this tea can be, like The Simple Leaf’s justly celebrated Dawn, one of those miraculous tea shape-shifters that manages to mix and mingle a panoply of tastes and aromas.

I also sense a range from what I would call the buttered grape/prune/current range—perhaps I’m referring to what others call a “wine” taste. For me this taste often, but not always, comes with some overtones of date. (By the way, I love dates and anything cooked with dates). So far we are hitting most of the major tea notes I love aside from the tobacco/tar/roof pitch family.

This really is an exquisite tea. Approaching the bottom of the cup I added one sugar crystal and a dash of milk. I would say that the tea can stand up to the milk and sugar well and that they only enhance the flavors. But the tea is superb without them.

I really love teas that are AD/DC: great black but also supportive of a bit or milk and sugar and this is one of these. I am thinking of ordering a full bin of this and also small sample sizes of chocolate, current, and plum. I’ll probably place an order with Adagio soon and get Golden Monkey and Mambo and add a dash of the flavors from time to time.

Thank you so much, RABS for this excellent choice. It happened to be the perfect tea at the perfect time for me and I continue to be so very excited about being a winner of your Geek contest.


I’m so glad that you enjoyed this! This one took me awhile to embrace. It was my first loose leaf black tea and it was a lot to deal with at first. Since then it’s grown on me. I also think that I made the 3rd place prize have good teas beyond the dreaded 1’s since it was only with an 8-sided die. :)

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