|"Teas as finely crafted as this one don’t come cheaply, but isn’t life too short to drink cheap tea? "|
White August Tea Company’s Golden Monkey is GOLD, with hardly a dark bit to be seen. I opened my sample and inhaled: fine leather and freshly cut apricot, rather than the more robust malty leather-and-moist tobacco aroma of a Yunnan.
I steeped a generous teaspoon in 8 oz of 208F water for five minutes, hoping it wouldn’t go bitter on me. The liquor was a bright, coppery golden color, slightly cloudy, with a light bouquet—a little malty, a little leather, a little apricot. Flavor wise, it was far more delicate than a Yunnan: bright, brisk, silvery, sweet, smooth, with a hint of leather, a dash of tannins, and a soft, drying apricot finish that left me ready for more, in part because the finish was short-lived, apart from a certain brightness left to linger on the tongue. There wasn’t so much as a hint of bitterness. It would be an absolute crime to dilute this tea with any cream and sugar. It’s too light-bodied for that, and you don’t want to miss a note of its fine flavors. I have tasted more robust Golden Monkeys; this one is more delicate and refined. I’ve found that to be the case with those that are primarily golden tips. The last one I tested, which was darker in color, with golden tips mixed in, had an unmistakable, robust dark chocolate flavor, and lots of malt and finish. This golden one is much lighter on the tongue. Both are very good; they’re just different.
I was a bit skeptical about a second steep, given the delicacy of the first one, but the fact that it sells for $20 for just under two ounces made me at least try to squeeze out the last drop of precious flavor. I did another five minute infusion and to my considerable surprise, this was a good as the first cup! Color me impressed. I give black teas extra points for that.
Teas as finely crafted as this one don’t come cheaply, but isn’t life too short to drink cheap tea?
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