Review: California Tea House Golden Monkey Paw

Black Tea, California Tea House Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Wowsers B. Bowsers"
Katie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Dan gave it 9.5/10, Vanessa gave it 7.7/10, Lynn gave it 9.5/10, Jamie gave it 8.0/10
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californiateamonkeypawI gasped a little when I read the brewing guidelines California Tea House lays out for this tea: Two tablespoons a cup. I reread, making sure it actually said tablespoons rather than teaspoons. Yes, it does. I read over the other reviews to see if anyone successfully made it with less leaf since occasionally you can get away with it, but there seemed to be a consensus: No cheating.

I piled two tablespoons into my cup and steeped them with 180 degree-ish water for two minutes, and Wowsers B. Bowsers - this tea! The deep red-brown/copper liquor smells distinctly like chocolate with a hint of pepper. The tea is rich with notes of pepper and malt and a chocolatey finish. The flavours are similar to those found in Yunnan bud teas, yet the tea itself is decidedly different. The tea is an exquisite level of smoothness that you don't often find, especially in a black tea. That's right, I described this as both peppery and smooth.

The second steep, which I left for three minutes, let the pepper character through more while the chocolate stood back somewhat. I didn't hold out much hope for the leaf to survive a third steep, but I was surprised. It wasn't an amazing cup, unlike the first two, but it was still very respectable.

Once you take into account how much leaf you need to use (again, DON'T SKIMP!), this is a pricey little number, but even I, in my excessive cheapness, don't care. You pay for quality, and this is quality. It's worth every cent, and if they demanded my first born child for a pound of this leaf, well... I'd at least have to think about it.

— To purchase California Tea House Golden Monkey Paw, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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