Review: Tao Tea Leaf Golden Monkey

Black Tea, Tao Tea Leaf Add comments
Laura’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"While I generally find it hard to rate a Golden Monkey very highly that is without my favorite chocolate note, this one is a stellar exception to that rule. It is a cup of smooth, creamy, rich, caramel deliciousness. Need I say more?"
Laura’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 6/10, Geoff gave it 9.5/10, Shaiha gave it 9.2/10, Sophie gave it 7.2/10, Jamie gave it 8.75/10
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"This is our most popular black tea, is one of Fu Jian province's famous black teas. This is also one of the oldest black teas in the world and one of the earliest teas to be exported to foreign countries. Only tea leaves picked from early spring season." ---Tao Tea Leaf website.

I have a consummate love for a good Golden Monkey. If it is quality leaf and exemplary of my expectations of what a Golden Monkey is supposed to taste like are met, then I am hooked. I have been known to go on little spurts where I drink little but whatever Golden Monkey is currently in my personal stash. Tao Tea Leaf was a company that was unknown to me prior to their sending in samples to Teaviews. I will tell you that they have a nice selection of pure leaf and enough blends to please a flavored tea lover as well. One thing that I liked about their website is that they sell most of their higher end leaf in smaller quantities. That's great because it is hard for me to want to shell out big dollars for the good stuff when I don't know if it really meets my expectations. For example, I expect a good Golden Monkey to be malty, smooth and have notes of honey, caramel and (hopefully) chocolate! Tao's Golden Monkey leaves were much more golden then what you typically find in your run of the mill Golden Monkey. The scent of the dry leaves was reminded me strongly of caramel with just a hint of smoke! YUM!

Since I don't really have time for pot after pot of this tonight, I decided to go with a Western style preparation and used water heated to 205 degrees and a 3 min infusion time. This is indeed a delicious example of a Golden Monkey! It is smooth, malty and rich---a bit richer than many of it's cousins. Caramel is definitely the delicious star of this Golden Monkey. Usually a rich dark chocolate or cocoa note also entertains your tongue while you sip a Golden Monkey. I love Golden Monkeys that have that note. With this one there is this richness that is quite intoxicating and that richness kind of messed with me a little bit. It made me question myself a few times as to whether or not that chocolate note was there. However, I also know that you know it when you taste it and it really isn't present in this particular leaf. However, the caramel is just so dominating and prevalent in the cup that this is still an outstanding cuppa. There is a touch of astringency with this one, but really it's mild enough that it is not distracting. In addition to the the rich caramel flavor, I did find honeyed notes and this leaf had a nice amount of creaminess to it for a black tea. This is just plain good stuff!

While I generally find it hard to rate a Golden Monkey very highly that is without my favorite chocolate note, this one is a stellar exception to that rule. It is a cup of smooth, creamy, rich, caramel deliciousness. Need I say more? Tao sells this at $10 for 25 grams. It's not the cheapest on the market, but I would definitely say that this is worth the splurge! Unfortunately for me, Tao is a Canadian based company and their shipping to my home in Michigan is a bit too expensive for me to ever actually place an order for this at $18.99 just for shipping. :( Boo! However, if you live in Canada or are not turned off by the high shipping, this leaf gets some serious thumbs up from me. I'm off for a second cup :)

Hey, Tao, if you come up with some less expensive shipping options to the States...lemme know!

— To purchase Tao Tea Leaf 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.

Teaviews Member: Laura Laura
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