Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with a Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Kiani Tea’s – Golden Monkey Black Tea. I’ve featured Kiani Tea before on my blog and used their matcha and rose powder to create a delicious rose matcha latte (recipe here). This may be the first of their loose leaf teas that I’ve tried because I enjoyed the matcha so much, but my expectations were quite high. Although this is a loose leaf tea and not a powder like the others I’ve tried, I still wanted the same level of quality and really hoped more than anything that it would not only meet the expectation I had, but blow them out of the water.
Those of you who know me well will know that I absolutely adore Golden Monkey black tea and I definitely have my favourite, so I was quite intrigued to see whether or not this would match up to any of them or even replace any of them.
Here’s what Kiani Tea have to say about this tea over on their blog: ”Our Golden Monkey is a legendary black tea from Yunnan Province, China, a mountainous, cloudy and misty province. Golden monkey leaves are grown at the altitudes of 1200 meters and according to a myth, this tea was named as Golden Monkey because the tea leaves were picked by specially trained monkeys to reach the tea bushes in the lofty and misty peaks that were not accessible to humans. Golden Monkey has grown for 1700 years, but is a relatively new tea to the West where it has only been exported for the past 13-18 years.”
“Our Golden Monkey black tea is made from the early spring harvest. One tender leaf and a new bud have been hand-picked and then subsequent sun-withering, rolling and a full oxidation process have turned the downy buds into magnificent golden fur tips. When brewed, Golden Monkey offers a very smooth yet brisk liquor that harmoniously infuses woody, cacao, fruity and leathery notes. The complex, full-flavoured liquor also shows great balance between sweetness, delicate acidity and astringency.”
Tea Tasting Notes
For tis tasting session I prepare this tea western style. Kiani Tea say it can be prepared both western style and gong fu style and on the day I did this tasting session I was trying to manage my pain levels so I made the decision to steep this western style, as it was much quicker for me to do and as a result I didn’t end up pushing myself too hard. I do still have probably just enough of this sample left to do a gong fu session with it though so I will probably do that on day when my pain levels are low and I’m not having to take blog pictures and things like that. I did only try this on it’s own though because I don’t like to add honey or anything at all really to my traditional teas as I know they are all almost always of such a fantastic quality, with so many layers of depth to their flavour profiles, that they just don’t need anything added to them and are much better on their own.
I steeped it for 4 minutes in my gravity infuser to give the large leaves enough space to fully flourish. I would definitely say that 4 minutes was the perfect stepping time for this tea, it can be quite a forgiving tea but I wouldn’t recommend going longer than 4 minutes as anything upward of that tends to result in a slight astringent, drying cup which you really don’t want when it comes to this tea, as you want to experience it at it’s best. Visually, it steeped up a deep brown with hues of copper and orange to it and gave off a sweet, malty aroma with a hint of wood.
In terms of it’s flavour profile, it was of course absolutely fantastic and did bring to the table many layers of depth, but I’ll be honest I expected that from Golden Monkey anyway and I’m glad this tea was able to live up to my pickiness when it comes to Golden Monkey. I don’t quite think it beat out any of my current favourite but it came very close to beating out one of them. This tea within it’s well beautifully rounded flavour profile boasts notes of Baked Bread, Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Golden Raisins, Rye, Smoke, Wood, Umami, and Honey.
It’s also so smooth and really an absolute pleasure to drink, I could easily make a big pot of this and just drink it all afternoon. It seems like it would pair perfectly with indulgent desserts, easily those that are chocolate rich. Now I have experienced how expansive it’s flavour profile it steeped western style I can’t wait to steep it gongfu style throughout a day and see what I can get out of this tea on a more concentrated level, something tells me it’s going to be an incredible experience when I do get round to it. I’m so glad I was given the chance to try this because it has to have been one of my favourite tasting session of 2021 so far, so as I’m sure you can imagine I would definitely purchase more of this in the future. If you have never had Golden Monkey tea or you already love it and you are looking for new ones to try, then I highly recommend it, you’ll have a fantastic experience like I did.
Overall Teacup Rating; 5/5
If you want to find out more about Kiani Tea and purchase some of this tea to try yourself, You can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post as gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*