Review: White August Tea Golden Monkey

Black Tea, White August Tea Co. Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Delicious peach and apricot flavours mingle on a brisk background of cocoa and malt. Don't let the price tag scare you away, this one is definitely worth it."
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 9.5/10, Vanessa gave it 8/10, Lynn gave it 10/10, Laura gave it 9.25/10, Chelsy gave it 8.5/10
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I'm a huge fan of Chinese black or rather red teas, as they would call them. Good ones have so much depth of character that they draw you in, like a good book. This is one such example. These leaves are certainly eye-catching, with their golden hue and their velvety pelts. However I'm not so familiar with their namesake monkey claws to attest to the resemblance between the two. It's a shame that White August doesn't provide more information about the leaves' origins, as they are truly exceptional.

Following the suggested brewing directions, I steeped a teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 195 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 and a half minutes. Like the dry leaf, the steeped cup has a lightly malty scent to it. The coppery brown liquor bears gold and cherry red highlights. The tiny hairs floating off the leaves make for a slightly cloudy brew. Taste-wise, the top notes are quite light, gliding effortlessly across the palate. It's in the finish that this tea really shines though. Delicious peach and apricot flavours mingle on a brisk background of cocoa and malt. What initially seems to be a very mild mannered tea provides a potent and long lasting aftertaste. It is sturdy enough to take milk and sugar yet so intricate and delicately subtle that I don't recommend adding anything to it. It would be a shame to miss out on any of what it has to offer.

I steeped the leaves again for 4 and a half minutes. Gentle malt notes fold themselves into the spectacular cocoa and fruit finish once again. The top notes are a little stronger this time around and the finish less potent, leading to a more even-keeled flavour profile. It gets a little more astringent as it cools as well. Otherwise this cup is almost identical to the first!

I couldn't resist brewing the leaves a third time, for 5 and a half minutes. The cup is pleasantly malty but no more. It seems pale in comparison to the first two infusions but really it's quite acceptable. Like the previous brews, it is silky smooth, with absolutely no bitterness to it. Have I mentioned that these leaves are exceptional all ready?

This tea bears a light and sparkling quality that makes it a good candidate for an afternoon cuppa. It would be a perfect accompaniment to baked goods, fresh fruits or anything slightly sweet. A very satisfying, accessible yet lovely and intricate cup – highly recommended to novice tea drinkers and connoisseurs alike. Don't let the price tag scare you away, this one is definitely worth it.

— To purchase White August Tea 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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