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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review:’s Golden Yunnan Black Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
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The Subject:  White Monkey Green Tea [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:212° F
Steeping time:5-7 mins. (diff for each infusion)
Tea type:Black
Aroma, dry leaves:  Jammy, fresh

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —5 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Smoky maple syrup
Taste, plain —Earthy (like Pu-erh), mild, not bitter, smooth
Color, plain —Orangey brown
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —6 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Smoky maple syrup
Taste, plain —Earthy (like Pu-erh), mild, not bitter, smooth
Color, plain —Orangey brown
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —7 mins.
Aroma, plain —  Smoky maple syrup
Taste, plain —Earthy (like Pu-erh), mild, not bitter, smooth
Color, plain —Orangey brown

Sometimes, I want to say how awful a tea is so I can have it all to myself. So, “this tea is awful!!”

Not really. Actually, it is an amazing tea. My taste notes above don’t begin to tell the story. The flavor is earthy yet maple syrupy (but not in a sweet way, if that makes any sense). The aroma is beyond description, sort of a cross between smoky and maple syrup (again, not in a sweet way).

Their description:

These beautiful, tippy leaves brew into a dark, copper-red infusion with sweet aromas of warming spices, baked apples, raisins, tobacco and wood. The flavor is full-bodied, woodsy and malty, with notes of pepper, tobacco, toasted wheat and flowers. The finish is remarkably clean, with notes of honey and malt.

Again, don’t be discouraged if your taste experience differs from the “official” description. Just decide if you like it or not. Fortunately, Nav, the company 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.

Hubby and I loved this and did 3 infusions, each a pleasure, both plain and with a bit of milk and sweetener which made it taste smoother, rounded, and like a perfect complement to pancakes or French toast. The flavor characteristics of the first infusion carried through to each subsequent infusion with some mellowing.

One look at the tea leaves before and after steeping shows the high quality of this tea:

The steeping directions on the label vary slightly from those on the vendor’s site (where it says steep time is 3 to 5 minutes).

Definitely a tea to enjoy for a soothing moment or whenever you need something warm and pleasant. Also, if you want a tea that is sort of a lighter version of a Pu-erh, this is it.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I like your comment to not be discouraged if your taste experience differs from the commercial description.

    Occasionally I'll find teas that are so different; there was a Yunnan green tea I bought from Upton that was described as having a delicate aroma, like apricot; I thought it was smoky and almost tobacco-like, but I still enjoyed it a great deal.

    I think Yunnan teas, whether green or white, tend to be a little bit outside the experience of much of the more mainstream tea world...the aromas are a bit intense and sometimes quite unique, which perhaps explains why these teas sometimes conjure up radically different descriptions when different people taste them.


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