Golden Monkey is a very popular red tea in China. This tea does not have a precise area of origin but we can find it mainly produced in Fujian and Yunnan in areas where there are cultivars suitable for obtaining this variety of tea. The Golden Monkey we are presenting comes from the Fujian region but its harvesting and processing method is the same in both regions.
A special feature of this tea is the choice of leaves, which is made at the time of harvesting. Small leaves are specially chosen together with a good percentage of golden buds, whose curved shape also gives the tea its famous name, as the Chinese say that this shape is reminiscent of monkey nails. Apart from the resemblance implied by its name, this tea, given the careful selection during harvest and its subsequent processing, presents a good richness of flavour in the cup.
What characterises this tea most is its citrus scent, which is particularly reminiscent of orange and mandarin peel. This main flavour is well supported by a solid body and a slightly woody tone that make this tea excellent for the winter period.
Place of origin
Near the Tai Mu Mountains of Fujian Province, China.
After harvesting, the leaves are left to wither in the sun for a certain amount of time depending on the producer before moving on to the folding stage. The leaves are then folded and rolled so that the juices inside are stirred and the oxidation process can begin. Once the leaf reaches its typical brown colour, the residual moisture inside is removed and after a few days’ rest the tea is ready to be consumed.
How to prepare
We highly recommend infusing this tea in the traditional Chinese method (gong fu cha) to best enjoy these leaves. Following this preparation, 4.5 grams of leaves (about 3 teaspoons) can be used in a gaiwan of about 100 ml to obtain several infusions with different tastes. After a quick rinsing of the leaves in water at 95°C, a first infusion of 10 seconds can be made, after which, keeping the water at the same temperature, the time can be increased each time by 5 seconds compared to the previous infusion (10 – 15 – 20 …) This tea has a longevity of about 6 infusions. For a classic preparation according to the Western style, we recommend 1.5 grams of leaves (approx. 1 teaspoon) in a 150 ml cup with water at 95°C for an infusion time of one and a half minutes. The tea can be filtered for easier tasting and also the above brewing times are purely indicative so can be adjusted according to personal taste. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.