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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review: thepuriTea.com’s White Monkey Green Tea

© 2010 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.


The Subject:  White Monkey Green Tea
Company:thepuriTea.com. [More info]


Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.


Water temperature:180° F
Steeping time:1-3 mins. (diff for each infusion)
Tea type:Green
Aroma, dry leaves:  Burst of spinach, then hay


1st Infusion:  
Steeping time:1 min.
Aroma, plain —  Faint spinach, then hay
Taste, plain —Mild, smooth, with hay notes
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green
  
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time:2 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Faint spinach, then hay
Taste, plain —Mild, smooth, with hay notes
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green
  
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time:3 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Faint spinach, then hay
Taste, plain —Mild, smooth, with hay notes
Color, plain —Pale yellow-green


Comments:
Tea names can be amusing, confusing, and/or centuries old. This one is all three. First, a bit of clarity: this is a green tea, not a white tea, according to the vendor’s site; the name comes from the many tea buds having a white downy appearance; the buds are hand plucked and processed (by humans, not monkeys!) on the Taimu Mountains of Fujian, China.

No monkeying around when it comes to taste with this tea. It was an absolute delight. However, once again, hubby and I had a quite different taste experience from the description on the vendor’s site. Ours was more mild, with a hint of spinach, turning to green hay as the liquid cooled.

Their description:

Although White Monkey is a rare and nuanced tea that’s sure to appeal to serious green tea drinkers, it has a clean, sweet taste that makes it a fantastic introduction to premium green tea for newer tea drinkers. Notes of fresh fruit, sweet spices and cocoa are balanced with a classic green tea astringency and grassiness. A complex, lingering and remarkably refreshing aftertaste makes this tea incredibly easy to drink while providing the layers and depth that tea connoisseurs demand in a great green tea.

Our point here is don’t be discouraged if your taste experience differs from the “official” description. Also, you might want to take them (as the expression goes) “with a grain of salt” when making a purchasing decision. So much of your experience with a tea has to do with how you store and prepare it. I suspect ours is based on starting with a shorter steep time. I say this as a sort of public service announcement, having heard through Twitter of some disappointments.

Fortunately, Nav, the owner, offers samples sizes of his teas at affordable prices. You can order this and other of his fine teas and conduct your own tea tasting.

One look at the tea leaves before and after steeping shows the high quality of this tea and its ability to stand up to multiple infusions:


The steeping directions on the label agree with those on the vendor’s site.


Definitely a sipper tea to enjoy during a quiet moment.


Their packaging of these sample sizes were rather interesting.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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