Review: Andao Organic Golden Monkey

Andao, Black Tea Add comments
Laura’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"As the tea really began to cool down, I found the buttery texture that Andao refers to in their description! I have experienced this in oolongs and even a good green tea, but never in a black tea. OMG! This is soooo good."
Laura’s Teaview: 9.8/10
Other Teaviews: Lynn gave it 9.5/10, Shaiha gave it 9.5/10, Brad gave it 7/10, Katie gave it 8.6/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
andaogoldenmonkey"Organic Golden Monkey presents a beautiful malty, mild orchid fragrance accompanied by a touch of cinnamon and chocolate. Its unique flavor and aroma palette can be attributed to a leaf composition combining a relatively small percentage of golden buds, amounting to perhaps only ten percent of the total leaf makeup, and first and second adjacent leaf growths. The result is a well-balanced palette bringing pure and delicate floral aromas together with deeper, malty and smoky textures. This tea is smooth, sweet and presents little to no trace of bitterness. The aftertaste is warm with an almost butter like texture that can be felt lingering on the tongue and back of the mouth minutes after finishing!" ---Andao Tea website.

I have been forcing myself to hold off on reviewing this tea because I wanted to save it for a day when I needed a pick-me-up. Today was a rough day at work making this a good time to treat myself to a highly anticipated tea. With the possible exception of a good Yunnan, Golden Monkey is my favorite black tea. I actually find that a good Yunnan and a good Golden Monkey can be hard to distinguish from each other because they taste fairly similar. One of you tea scholars can probably elaborate on this, but I just know what I like. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Andao, they are a more 'serious' tea company based out of China. They offer a number of great teas and their Yunnan Gold is amongst my favorite teas.

My dry leaves were primarily golden as expected and had a fair number of tips. There were also a few darker leaves mixed into the bunch. I prepared this using water cut just short of a full boil and infused the leaves for 30 seconds as recommended by Andao. This tea offers a nice amount of complexity that impresses me. When I took my first sips, the tea was quite hot and the primary things that I noticed about it was that it was that it was a bit smokey and a little malty. As it cooled to a more drinkable temperature, I could pick up on a bit of the chocolate notes. The chocolate notes were maybe not as pronounced as I've experienced with some Golden Monkey offerings, and tasted like notes of a dark baker's chocolate. As the tea really began to cool down, I found the buttery texture that Andao refers to in their description! I have experienced this in oolongs and even a good green tea, but never in a black tea. OMG! This is soooo good.

After being impressed by the first infusion, I went ahead and prepared a second infusion of this using the same brewing parameters that I used for the first one. To my utter delight, the second infusion was equally delicious. I found this infusion to offer a cup that was less smoky and a bit more chocolatey. I also found that the buttery taste was even more pronounced in the second infusion. Delicious!

Overall, I found this to be a satisfying and delicious cup of tea. This is definitely one that I would reach for when wanting a plain black. I found the tea to offer everything that I love---smooth, a bit smoky, malty, chocolatey and it had that buttery quality that knocks my socks off. The only thing keeping this from a perfect score is that I really like my Golden Monkey to be a bit more chocolatey than this is. If the chocolate had got in my face a bit more, then this would be a 10---no questions asked. However, at just $16 for 100 grams, don't let that stop you from picking some of this up. It is amazing!

— To purchase Andao Organic Golden Monkey, 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.

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