Getting its name from the very distinct golden fuzzy leaves resembling monkey paws, there are a ton of reasons to love this tea. Like the Silver Needle tea, this tea shares the Fujian province as one of its main growing regions in addition to the more well known Yunnan province. Also like the Silver Needle tea, Golden Monkey is very unique for its classification. It is unusual for a black tea to not be black in color, and these leaves sport a bright gold coloring. This makes them easily identifiable and even more sought after. The flavor is very distinct and loved by many. It is said to have notes of honey and peach and is very light when compared to its other black tea counterparts.
The tea is not only the most sought after of the black teas, it can also be the most expensive. This is due to the rarity of the leaves as well as the amount of care that must be taken during the processing of this tea. The plants are grown at an altitude of 1,300 meters and the leaves are all processed by hand. This tea has been grown for over 1,300 years but it has only been exported for the past 13-18 years so it is still considered to be a new variety of tea. This tea is literally steeped in history. Once only available to emperors and royalty, it still maintains some of its elite status. In 2011 it was the tea served in the White House to the President of the United States.
Even as someone who dislikes black tea overall, this is still one of my favorite teas. It doesn’t taste like a black tea really, nor does it taste like a green or an oolong. It is something new entirely which I think is so cool it deserves to be tried by everyone. I often like to put this tea in the same category as the silver needle because there are so many parallels between the two. They both have a similar taste actually when you drink them side-by-side. The Silver Needle of course is much lighter in flavor but the unique flavors are very similar to one another. They are also both the premium tea in their category. Silver Needle is one of the most sought after white teas and Golden Monkey is one of the most sought after black teas. Lastly, the both provide a drinking experience that is unlike any other. In order to become a true tea aficionado you have to try both of these at least once in order to expand your palette. You don’t need to pretend to like the teas, but you do need to try them in order to fully broaden the dimensions of your understanding of tea.
One of the most recognizable and finest teas deserves to be tried by everyone. In order to do this properly, I would recommend purchasing from Tealyra in order to have a good experience. Like most of the teas I’ve tried, I have also had a bad experience with this tea as well. I tried to save money by getting it from a cheap distributor and regretted the decision immediately. The tea tasted like the inside of the bag and didn’t even resemble the Golden Monkey I was accustomed to. For that reason, I want to just save everyone the trouble and have you get this tea from the Tealyra on Amazon. You will be glad you did.
This tea can be steeped just under boiling temperature at 206 degrees F and can be left in there for up to 3 minutes. The tea is also good for up to 3 steeps. I hope you enjoy the distinct flavor, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!