I wanted to thank Adagio for the opportunity to try all of these awesome teas! I have been using their Ingenuitea accessory for so many reviews, I thought it was only appropriate that I also review some of their teas as well!
Golden monkey, or Jin Hou is by far my favorite type of black tea. It gets its name from the furry golden leaves that resembles monkey paws. This tea comes from the Fujian province and it is hand processed each spring. It is known for its soft flavor and natural sweetness that is rare to find in a black tea.
I want to start with a little disclaimer. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to try some of the best teas in the world, so my standards are quite high. While Adagio does have very good tea, I believe it is unfair to compare it with the directly sourced, small farm teas I have been trying recently. Adagio has a special place in my heart because it was one of the companies I would buy from when I was starting my adventure into the world of tea. They have very good teas at good prices, but some of the more experienced connoisseurs may prefer a tea from a smaller company that sources teas from small farms like Nio for Japanese tea and Yunwei for Chinese tea.
The fresh leaves had a very soft, sweet smell to them. I might have expected them to smell a little bit earthier, but they were much more mild than I would have thought. I must say that the leaves that came in the package look much different than the ones advertised on the website. I think my picture is a more accurate representation of the leaves you will get when you order. I placed them into my Ingenuitea brewing device and poured in some water that was just under boiling. I wanted to really extract some of the bitter components of this black tea, without going too hot and drowning out some of the more delicate notes.
The first sip of this tea was quite good. I must say, it is not as good as the best golden monkey I have ever had, but it is very, very sweet. Normally, when I say a tea is sweet it just means that it has a nice pleasant feel to it, but this tea actually is sweet. It tastes like sweet tea! I’m not sure how they were able to pull this off, but I am quite impressed. This is a nice break from all the other black teas I have tried in the past few weeks. While most of the black teas I have had were quite strong and bitter, this one is sweet and relatively mild. Some of the tea I left in to steep a little bit longer and it still hasn’t picked up much bitterness. If you are inside on a cold day and you’re a bit tired of your bold bitter black teas, I would substitute this one in. It is fun, different and really does taste sweet, even if you are used to adding a little bit of sugar to your tea.
I decided to take this tea for a second steeping. I was so curious about the sweet flavor I was experiencing, I wanted to investigate further. If the sweetness persisted into the second steeping, I would be quite impressed. The second steeping tastes about the same. There is still that soft mild bitterness and a strong sweetness to the tea. Although these flavors have become a bit subdued, it is still a very tasty tea.
After having this tea for only a week or so, it has already become one of my go-to black teas. I think it is a fun tea because of the sweetness, and I like to enjoy it while I am relaxing or working inside. I don’t notice much caffeine to this tea, more of a soothing effect, but I could be wrong. This is definitely not the best golden monkey I’ve ever had, but it is pretty good. I am very satisfied with the tea and I will probably be drinking this every day.
Thank you everyone so much for reading my tea review! I have a lot more teas to review from Adagio so stay tuned to hear about some of my favorites. Cheers!