|"A Fujian tea with golden tips, much like a Dian Hong, but perhaps not quite as satisfying. Nonetheless, it is incredibly smooth, delicately sweet and perfect on the palette."|
The dried leaf is, not surprisingly, peppered with golden buds, mixed with darker mahogany tea tones. The golden tips obtain their color during processing. The aroma of the leaves is gorgeous - again, very similar to Dian Hong in aroma - a sweet-yet-earthy scent, hinting of umami.
The brew produces a beautiful yellow-golden cup. The potency of the aroma becomes tempered in the brew, but more strength comes right back in the flavor. Green Hill recommends a 3-7 minute brew using fully-boiling water. The first 4-5 cups I utilized my default recipe for Dian Hong and other Golden Monkey teas: a scant 2 minutes, boiling water, and 1.5-2 tsp of tea. This produced a terrific cup - incredibly smooth flavor, delicately sweet and perfect on the palette. By utilizing a two-minute brew, this produces 3 equally-wonderful infusions, thus stretching the tea three times further than a single cupping.
How would a full 7 minute brew compare? Naturally, I had to find out. And surprisingly, the results are not as satisfactory. Somehow, the flavors seem even more full in the shorter steepings. And, as suspected, the full 7 minute brew does not produce multiple satisfactory steepings, as does a shorter 2-3 minute one.
Green Hill's Golden Monkey is not quite as satisfying as a true Dian Hong, but it is a nice, refreshing alternative, that incorporates that heavenly flavor with a more straight-forward (Assam?) black tea flavor. For those who are used to craving the chocolate notes or subtly-sweet intensity of a Yunnan Gold, this may not satisfy.
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