Premium Golden Monkey Black Tea

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Black Tea
Black Tea
Astringent, Chicken Soup, Goji, Malt, Mushrooms, Prune, Sweet, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Umami, Wood, Apricot, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Honey, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Bitter, Sweet Potatoes, Bread, Cocoa, Fruity, Yams, Flowers, Graham Cracker, Rose, Cream, Tea, Cacao, Cinnamon, Earth, Grapes, Grass, Maple Syrup, Dark Wood, Maple, Nutty, Smoke, Tobacco, Leather, Molasses, Salt, Drying, Fig, Tannin, Grain, Smooth, Thick, Caraway, Hay, Mineral, Savory, Strawberry, Coffee, Butter
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 9 oz / 258 ml

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232 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Ok, if opening this sample doesn’t make you say, “Oooh!” out loud, then just box up your stuff, send it to me, and go back to drinking soda or coffee or whatever else you were drinking before tea....” Read full tasting note
  • “Good morning Steepsterites! My dad is 80 years old today. Mom turned 79 on xmas eve. They live in Florida, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but I chat on the phone with them pretty...” Read full tasting note
  • “This tea is so far superior to the one from Teavana in my opinion, and it is probably half the price. It is a tea that can go with any mood, any food. I served it today to youngest and her...” Read full tasting note
  • “Another delicious tea that i took out with me today. Early morning start today to make it in to the spa with nicole for a girls day out. Mani/Pedis, lunch, movie and then dinner with my other...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Fujian(福建), China

Ingredients: Tea leaves are tight as needles, conspicuous golden tips, slightly curly

Taste: Sweet potato taste, followed with fruity fragrance

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194 ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Being a fully oxidised – or fermented – black tea, it does not have the same level of antioxidants that our White and Green teas have, however it is still a good source of these and so will also help reduce the risk of cancers and lessen the affects of aging. Black teas such as our Fengqing black also are considered to help prevent tooth decay and help lower your cholesterol levels.

About Teavivre View company

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232 Tasting Notes

1719 tasting notes

Ok, if opening this sample doesn’t make you say, “Oooh!” out loud, then just box up your stuff, send it to me, and go back to drinking soda or coffee or whatever else you were drinking before tea. This is so fragrant with caramel, honey, and fruit. So fresh smelling. The leaf is tan buds and darker brown leaves. Gorgeous.

I used an extra large scoop, simply because I could. 12oz of heavily steaming almost boiling water and my press. The steep was a little less than two minutes.

As soon as the water hit the leaf, the already wonderful aroma came into full bloom with a scent like wine. It was also malt but not heavily so. Oh My Goodness this smells good. In my press this is deep golden in color. It is more orange as it pours into the mug. The wet leaf looks like chocolate shavings.

The sip is so rich. It is even more fruity wine-like in the sip than in the scent. It is caramel and honey. It is malt and sweet. As the cup cools I notice a wheat component. It is not real yammy like Golden Tips, or heavily chocolate like Bailin Gongfu. Yet it is kind of in that same flavor range. The aftertaste is strong and lasting. It is sweet, wheat, and maybe yeast. It does seem a bit drying, which is as close to a negative comment as I can make.

I had time for three cups. Amazingly, the first cup was the lightest and the third the darkest. The fruit like wine taste fades after cup one but the other flavors intensify. I don’t know how many cups this would go. I may try to continue with the same leaf tomorrow and see.

This is simply perfection in a cup. I haven’t looked at the other reviews and frankly it doesn’t matter. Maybe it is just my mood today, but by my scale this is as close to a 100 (my first) as I have ever tasted in a black tea. Bravo!

Glorious sample supplied by Teavivre.


This was served at tea party two weeks ago. Based on my guests reaction, I HAVE to order it! It was fantastic.

Charles Thomas Draper

This is an awesome tea. I had to order some


OOh, I was adding teas to my cart for my Teavvire order tomorrow because I need more dragon pearls and they are on sale tomorrow. Now, I added this sample to my cart too! Thanks


Thank you for your review. It really wet my appetite, so I ordered some from Teavivre today. Actually it was my very first purchase of loose leaf tea anywhere, along with some samples of other teas (just to get free shipping, of course: I wouldn’t want to waste money on shipping, when I could be buying tea with it.


Brett: did you see that you can sign up on the page for free samples? They send lots of them, too! They have so many excellent teas.


Brett, reading your notes it looks like you are on much the same tea path as I have been travelling. I still enjoy my Ahmad tea. I think you will love this one. Frankly almost everything by TeaVivre is excellent.


K S, Kudos for a highly detailed wonderfully descriptive review. Just reading your tasting notes for TeaVivre’s Golden Monkey is enough to cause one to salivate and grin from ear to ear in anticipation of what is yet to come! Well done!


looseTman, thanks. I used to think I didn’t much care for straight black tea. TeaVivre really changed my mind. I pretty much have loved every China black tea I’ve tried. This one hit that sweet spot for me of combining everything I like into one package.


You’re welcome. Your review was obviously inspired and a pleasure to read! It’s also a great example of how to write a tasting note!

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3294 tasting notes

Good morning Steepsterites!
My dad is 80 years old today. Mom turned 79 on xmas eve. They live in Florida, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but I chat on the phone with them pretty much every day. It’s a bit scary watching your folks grow old, seeing them become children again in some ways, but I’m really grateful. I’ve always had a good relationship with my mom, my relationship with my dad was not so good. It took a long time to heal, a lot of song lyrics written, a lot of journaling. The path to peace is always acceptance & forgiveness, it seems, & honesty. Dad & I understand each other now, we’ve worked out our issues. I’m grateful for that!

This tea is a comforting cup of rich buttery sweet potatoes. Nothing bright here, nothing brash. It’s not particularly bold. It’s a quartet of clarinet, viola, Cello, & Alto Flute.


Your quartet makes sense to me. I’ve never been one for brash instruments. This tea rates 100 with me. Work some Iommi crunch riffs in with this quartet and I’m in heaven.


Your path to peace is beautiful as well. Happy birthday to your mom and dad.


Happy birthday to your mom and dad!


A belated happy birthday to your Mom and Dad!

It’s heartening to hear that you found a path to understanding and peace with your Dad. That may be one of the most important things you could do in this life. Song lyrics, journaling, honesty, acceptance and forgiveness are all powerful tools. You followed a difficult and potentially painful path, which speaks of your inner strength.

I recently went through a similar experience with my parents growing older. Mom and I always got along great, but it took decades to heal most of the distance between my Dad and myself. We both put forth an effort and made great strides, which I am immensely grateful for.

Their health began to decline around Christmas a year ago. I flew to Pennsylvania every month for nearly a year and watched them decline both mentally and physically, becoming more of a caretaker with every visit.

Mom passed in mid November before I could get there, but I was able to stay with my Dad as he slipped away over the next eleven days. I had the honor of holding his head and talking to him as he crossed over.

Later I went back to my hotel, made a cup of tea, and meditated on the feeling of being at peace.

Even though you can’t get to Florida very often, phone calls are a good way of staying connected. I truly hope you enjoy the time you have left with your parents.

Terri HarpLady

Sorry to hear of your parents passing, but so happy to hear that you also found a path of peace with them & was able to be there.
One of the fun things regarding my relationship with my Dad is that when I was young, he strongly discouraged my musical path, but as he got older he revealed that he had wanted to be a musician, & was never able to pursue it, so there had been some resentment there for him. (sidebar: Mom & Dad both played banjo ukeleles & the night they met, they both walked into the door at a party, each carrying a banjo uke, knew all the same songs, & basically spent the entire evening jamming on folk tunes!).

So I started giving Dad piano & music theory lessons, mostly over the phone, several years ago, & whenever we visit, it’s a long long lesson every day. His desire to really understand music theory & how to apply it has been fun to satisfy :)


Very cool story about how your Mom & Dad met! It’s unfortunate that your Dad had to suppress his dream, but at the same time it’s uplifting that you have been able to connect with him on that very level. Giving music lessons over the phone takes patience and dedication on both your parts. My Dad got his first computer 20 years ago in the days of DOS and WordPerfect, and I taught him over the phone several times a week for about a year. Although frustrating at times, it was also a rewarding and bonding experience. It sounds like you are having a similar time!

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3313 tasting notes

This tea is so far superior to the one from Teavana in my opinion, and it is probably half the price. It is a tea that can go with any mood, any food. I served it today to youngest and her friend and I forgot to put milk and sugar on the table. It didn’t matter. They drank it plain. I think both girls have been trying to drink their tea straight for a couple of months now, and this one is an easy one to learn to like like sans additions.

Mercuryhime got me thinkkng…and looking around. She mentioned having to clean when you invite people to tea. Well, Mercuryhime, if I am ever in the area, don’t clean for me because I just want to be with you! Let your dogs lick my face, let me get dirt on my shoes in your garden, I will be happy! I love getting to know new people and learning from them.

BUT…I am going to bare all and tell you PART of what is cluttering my kitchen right now. Remember, my kitchen is large though my house is small, because this was a kitchen/den combination when the house was built, with a tiny dining area. A den was added, so the old “den” is now informal dining and school table and the formal tiny dining corner is now the laundry area and bread making center.

Okay, here goes. Tomatoes everywhere on the island, cucumbers because I am about to make pickles, teapots all down the counter, a Breville, a mixer, two ceramic egg holders because I don’t refrigerate my eggs. (Fresh, unwashed eggs have an antibiotic coating from the hen.) There is a cooling rack out still from muffin making, a cast iron Dutch oven that I can’t put away due to my surgery and am waiting for someone else to do It, two jars of kefir fermenting, a compost pail, some recycling that hasn’t been carried out, lots of spices, a mortar and pestle full of eggshells that need to be distributed, a bowl of fruit. I have my mother’ s and godmother’s rolling pins and my MIL’s old hand powered egg beater. All sitting out or displayed. It really does look like an old general store in there. On the fireplace, there are candles, lanterns, a candle box, a paper towel tube (WHY?), and some magazines. That is probably less than half. LOL!

Does anyone else dare tell what is sitting out in their kitchen? Several OCD people probably just fainted. I am sorry! :D

FYI: we eat almost all our meals at the little tea table in the “L” of the living room because of all the stuff in the kitchen.


well, this does make me feel better. :) Though I think I do have a mild form of OCD. I’d glad you’re someone I can invite over without having to worry about cleaning first.


Now that sounds like my idea of a kitchen. Wish I wasn’t old and lazy, cuz I can get down with all things like homemade pickles, kefir, bread, muffins and fresh farm eggs. My comparatively empty countertops testify to this, or maybe a testimony to no longer having young children around to feed. A lovely read! I’ll be over to your place tomorrow. :P


As honest as you’ve been about your kitchen – I can’t even begin to tell you about mine – mine is all taken apart – because I am going on a purging binge. I am getting RID of things and I have pulled things out of cabinet and closets and I have stuff stacked everywhere. I am planning on it all going away after I start my vacation next week. I’m jealous of your produce :(


Overflowing tea baskets pretty much everywhere, fried pies, turnovers and an apple crumb tart from the farmers’ market; a ziplock bag of expired coupons; mail we don’t quite know what to do with; a platter of assorted vitamins and supplements; a dish rack stacked with drying stuff like Jenga because nobody wants to put it away; colander full of banana peppers (and that’s just the stuff that isn’t in its rightful place).


I did, however, start on a reality-check clothes closet pitch. Shirts so tight they cut off circulation in my upper arms now in brown-bag purgatory awaiting their second (third?) life at Goodwill.

Terri HarpLady

My kitchen counters are loaded with bubbling crocks of various culturing veggies, crockpots & dutch ovens awaiting their next episodes, a dehydrator, piles of tomatoes (even though I brought 5# worth of them to Tony’s because we’re making a batch of sauce tomorrow), a bread kneading area with sack of flour, because although I can’t have gluten, one of my sons has really gotten into making bread. There’s a dehydrator, from my raw foodie days, which I still use, a coffee maker that the kids (who are adults) use, a bowl of fruit, a dish draining wrack, a large compost bucket, & lots of spices, & a mortar & pestle. The Table, which is in the kitchen, has an electric kettle, a tea towel where I dry my various teapots & cups, a pile of cookbooks (because although I don’t generally follow recipes, I love reading them, LOL).
Most of my tea is in my office, along with my teapots & other paraphernalia.
The Sunroom windowsills are piled with tomatoes, all kinds. There are also 3 wonderful large baskets that I use for picking produce (one is currently full of zucchini), & there are buckets with gardening tools, & the little table back there is covered with seeds, my garden journal, & other gardening stuff.


Keep it coming, everyone! I love this! Cwyn, I wish you could come over. We would have a tomato sandwich and let the juice run to our elbows!

MzPrizz: I have been contemplating a real clean out. We have lived her for 21 years and things add up. Some things are not really needed anymore, like cute cake pans of trains and lambs, but what if I get grandchildren? LOL!

GMathis: I left out my thee tea stashes. One is on shelves on the wall, one is a chest under those shelves and there are two spots in the cabinets with tea, as well as a super old cast iron Dutch oven with samples in it. Oops, and another basket under the fruit basket. Oy.

TerriHarpLady: I am making pickles right now, so my Kilner jam pan is sitting on the bread table. Underneath that table are buckets: hard red wheat for cookies, hard white wheat for bread, soft white wheat for cookies and pastries, Kamut for waffles and pancakes, oats to flake, and hard red winter wheat for the chickens. There is also frequently a jar of seeds sprouting for the chickens, though they just ate the most recent batch.

Lariel of Lórien

You guys are making me want salad.


My turn. Produce from farmers market on island. I cannot put tomatoes or peaches to the fridge. Pecan pie, croissants . Counters are loaded with 2 gaiwans, 2 tea baskets and 1 glass gongfu pot, strainer. All waiting for their resteeps. Thank you for posting this.


…and then there’s the wire Basket O’ Condiments, stuffed with leftover ketchups, mustards, and whatevers from take-out…

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15147 tasting notes

Another delicious tea that i took out with me today. Early morning start today to make it in to the spa with nicole for a girls day out. Mani/Pedis, lunch, movie and then dinner with my other half, her husband and the little one. Followed by a short game before coming home late. I was glad i made the effort in the morning to brew up two travel mugs to bring with me :) I needed it by the afternoon!


Oh fancy! Sounds like a pretty great day.


it was nice…nicole hasn’t had girl time or even a day outside the house in the past 5 months or so…so we spoiled her.

Terri HarpLady

What an awesome day!


it was nice…though i’m betting all of a day before my nail polish starts chipping lol i usually only ever get pedicures to mostly get rid of all the ick factor on my feet :) E was like..oh hey! your feet aren’t ripping my legs now lol gee thanks…love you too :P (followed by a comment about how he should just send me to get one every month…)


Ahahhaha. I had a pedicure once and I liked it because I like foot rubs by people who know what they’re doing, but I feel like it was totally wasted bc the person just wanted to talk to me the whole time and I just wanted to relax. :P Next time I’ll go where they don’t speak english. Ha.

But that’s really cool you able to get her out and doing fun things.


Cavocorax, I only go to Chinese places. They smile, very friendly and only talk to each other. As long as I don’t understand it doesn’t bother me.

Terri HarpLady

For awhile my daughters & I had an annual pedicure tradition going on. Their birthdays are March 14th & 28, exactly 2 weeks apart. We’d go for breakfast, then starbucks latte’s, then pedi’s, then lunch! It was great, but we haven’t been able to get our schedules together for the last couple of years.
Add to that, my grandaughter’s birthday is right in between their’s, on the 21st. We’re having her party today, & I’m thinking we need to really try to get the pedi thing going again, & include her in it.

I always get the same nail polish, “I am not a Waitress”, hahaha, & Sil, it never lasts very long :(
But the foot soak & rub is a fun luxury! Nothing like a day out with the girls!


That sounds like so much fun! I hope you guys manage to make it happen again, even if you’re a few weeks later than the birthdays!


Cavo – I’m happy to do a girls day out with you at the spa. There are a few places here we can go where they will leave us alone and that aren’t too expensive :)


Terri – it’s nice isn’t it? :)


Looooove pedis. And if I can pair it with a massage…heaven. My pedis always last forever since I am not allowed to really be without shoes since my foot injury. But I don’t even bother with manicures – I can’t not be in the kitchen or doing something that ruins those in less than a day at most.


nicole – yeah i don’t bother with manicure’s most of the time but this was just for my friend. i’ve already managed to chip part of it hahaha


A sacrificial spa day for a friend. That’s tough. :)


yeah…the things i do..

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336 tasting notes

Sipping on this while continuing my Family Ties viewing / putting off working on the program notes until tomorrow. I was about to do the H&S Holiday Tea for the third time in two days, then I realized – wait. Black Friday’s in four days, Cyber Monday’s in a week, and I’m planning a tea splurge regardless of whether or not the companies in question are offering discounts or not. My cupboard’s not enormous by Steepster standards, but I better sip down a few things up in here.

I oversteeped this by a bit, so it’s a little bitter. But still good and smoky. Little mushroomy, but that might be the oversteeping. I wish I could say more, and more intelligent stuff. But it’s enjoyable.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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2201 tasting notes

Sipdown, 139. I really need to make some (figurative) room in my cupboard because I am about to have a bomb of oolongs from Teavivre dropped on me soon. I figured I should try to get through this last batch of teas that they sent me, so that’s the goal for the next few days.

I’ve tried this one with my western black tea methods (2tsp, 12oz water, 3 minutes) at the recommended steep temp, and a pseudo-gongfu method, which is the whole sample pouch for a shorter period of time. I find this one yields similar results for me in each method. Even though it’s a Fujian tea, it has some earthy-potatoey Yunnan-like notes to it. There’s a hint of grains like I might expect from a Fujian, but also a very slight cocoa-powder note. All in all I definitely enjoy this tea, and it seems to be a great example of a golden monkey. Now if I loved golden monkeys, I’m sure this tea would be at the top of my list.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I think I am anticipating the same oolong bomb :D


Me too, yay oolongs soon!


Hey dinosara, is it you who has the gooseneck bonavida kettle? (I thought it was kittenna, but turns out she doesn’t have it, so I thought it might be you LOL).


Yes, I have the Bonavita Gooseneck!


Oh perfect! I knew it was one of the people I’m following. Do you love it? is it perfect? Is there anything about it you don’t like?


I have one too and I love it. I don’t really have any complaints, either.


Oh thanks, Stephanie. I think it’ll be my kettle of choice, especially because it seems to be both small and accurate. Do you like the spout?


I do love mine. I wish it had a bell or something to indicate when it reaches the set temperature, but I love that I don’t have to worry about it too much because I can just hit “hold” and it will hold the water at that temp until I remember to go check on it. I like the spout, especially for gongfu as it has a very precise pour. It does take a while if you are filling a large teapot (but I pretty much never do that).


Wonderful. I think I’ll get itt!

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735 tasting notes

My third round of Teavivre teas arrived today! I couldn’t wait to get home and get started.

This is my first Golden Monkey. I know, right? How could I be such an avid black tea drinker, but missing out on this? Anyway, I opened the packet to smell it as the water heated, as usual. Faintly smoky, with hints of cocoa, hay, fruit, and malt. So deliciously promising.

Even after only two minutes, the tea was a dark red amber. It smelled less smoky and more malty, still reminding me of fresh clean hay. The taste, of course, is fantastic. It reminds me a lot of some of Teavivre’s other black teas… they all have a distinct cocoa-like taste that I’m starting to think may come from their tea region itself. It’s delightful, and I haven’t tasted it anywhere else so far. But it’s difficult to describe. I know it may seem weird, but it kinda tastes the way a new, clean piece of printer paper smells. I’m also getting the yam/sweet potato taste others have mentioned, and I really like it. This is such a savory, satisfying black tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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1184 tasting notes

I enjoyed this tea yesterday with a dark chocolate banana muffin. Let me tell you, it was amazing that way. The malty notes are greatly pronounced and they complemented each other perfectly.
Now I need to make more muffins…haha.
But seriously, I do thoroughly enjoy this tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

ohhhh, yum!!


Sounds like the BEST combination!

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290 tasting notes

Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.

Opening the packet I thought, “This smells like tea.” What I mean by that is that it smells more like the teas I grew up with, rather than the teas I drink now. Interesting reaction. Is this tea used in English breakfast teas at all? Or maybe one like it is. The leaves are tiny curls of dark brown mixed with golden curls. They look great.

I put 8g in a 250ml pot and set it to brewing according to Teavivre’s instructions. The liquor is thick and dark, a reddish brown colour. The aroma is malty, almost what I have come to expect from Teavivre. No complaints on my part for that. I like it. It lacks the cocoa undertones (or even overtones in some cases) that other black teas I have tried from Teavivre have, but it is great all the same. There is no astringency at all as far as I can tell. The liquor tastes as thick as it smells. It is malty with a fruity Christmas cake flavour underneath. The taste as I exhale after swallowing is sweet and that sweetness lingers on my tongue as a delicious aftertaste. Then the qi hits me and suddenly I feel slightly warmed and relaxed at the same time, especially in my legs of all places. How peculiar!

The second steep is less malty and has more grain to it, but still has all the excellent notes of the first steep. I expect this process to continue with the third steep. I might share that one later, but right now I am just going to enjoy this tea as it deserves to be enjoyed, instead of intellectualising (is that a real word?) my enjoyment of it. When I am not focusing on what I can taste in it, I can feel it resetting my concentration so that I can return to my work with a clear mind, ready to progress on the next section.

Overall this is another excellent tea from Teavivre, but I really do need to eat more sweet potato so I know what they mean in their tasting notes! Still, maybe I can divine that flavour from the next two pots. This sample is large enough for three generous pots, so a huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre. I can’t wait to try the rest of the sample, then I shall have to buy some of this for myself.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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863 tasting notes

This was a generous sample from TeaVivre. Thank you so much!

Hmmm…I may have gone too long on the steep time, because this had a touch of astringence to it. And that was only at 2 minutes! I did use 4.5 grams of leaf for 500 ml. of water, though, so maybe that might be part of it…

The smell of this was slightly smoky, which I’m coming to realize is a general characteristic of Fujian teas. It wasn’t ash tray smoky, luckily, so I didn’t feel too apprehensive about trying it. Especially because of an underlying starchy/malty note that adds some extra (and very pleasant) complexity.

The taste is…raisins. Rather, the taste plus astringence equals raisins. Kind of fruity and dry but also that vague sulphur-y flavor which I think is what that smoky smell turned into. Interestingly, even though it’s dry it also has a thick texture that coats the mouth – this is quite the maze of contradictions!

I wonder if this is related to the Tan Yang Angrboda loves so dearly? It’s just that she described that tea pretty much how I think this one tastes. They are from the same province, so I suppose it’s possible.

Anyway, I’m going to try a little less leaf or a little less steeping time or some combination of the two the next time I brew this – I’m curious to see what will happen. Tonight’s preparation yielded a good tea, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get everything out of it that I could have.

I will say that it definitely has a TON of character and it’s a shame human error had to go and get in the way. :( Oh, well – at least there can be a next time!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I strongly suspect that it’s very similar to the Tan Yang.I’ve never really been able to work out the ‘Golden Monkey’ name because it seems to show up on several different teas.


I’ll be curious to know what you think of it! I’m also going to do some tea-search (haha. I kill myself sometimes) so I’ll see what I figure out!

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