Again, gearing up for the next Tea Series on Chinese Black Teas, I went ahead and tasted the Golden Monkey tea that I had ordered.
Golden Monkey tea is a staple in my Dad's tea cupboard. Compared to harsher Assam and Darjeeling teas, I can see why. Golden Monkey has a very different look than most other black teas, due to it being the "yang" to Baihao Yinzhen "Silver Needle" white tea's "yin." Golden Monkey gets its unique color to the golden hue of the young leaf bud, and it's darker complexion from the first leaf which is also picked.
What did I think of TeaVivre's Golden Monkey tea? Coming off of the Bailin Gongfu tea, this one did not even come close in terms of complexity or flavor. It's not a bad tea at all, but if I had to chose between the two, I'd pick the Bailin.
The Golden Monkey is a simple tea, which includes all of the usual briskness, dried fruit, and hints of smokiness that you would find in a black tea. For me, it did not have any real standout features aside from its interesting color before steeping.
1st Steep was at 200F, 30 seconds; 2nd at 45 seconds; 3rd at a minute.
The Bailin Gongfu is more rare, but if you have the option I'd take it over the Golden Monkey.