Golden Monkey Champagne Black Tea from 52Teas

Golden-Monkey-ChampagneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s an awesome Golden Monkey black tea blended with marigold petals and organic champagne flavors. Not only that, each pouch contains a unique fortune for 2015. We are only making 70 of these, so get yours today.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a sip of champagne.  As I’ve said before, I’m just not all that big on drinking alcohol.  (I’m a TEA-totaler!)  But this Golden Monkey Champagne Black Tea from 52Teas is a nice way to enjoy some ‘champagne!’

First of all, I have to mention the fortune!  What a fun idea!  I liked opening the pouch to discover what my fortune for 2015 will be.  Here’s what mine said:

This year: someone will do something “for all the tea in China” and then have a monopoly on Chinese teas.

Yeah, it’s a little corny and silly, but it’s fun.  It’s a little ‘out of the box’ and that’s what I’ve come to love about 52Teas – the whole concept is a little out of the box!  A different tea every week?  That’s a little crazy!  But it’s crazy good!

And that’s why I want to keep 52Teas going.  Check out my Kickstarter campaign and help me keep this company going – I need your support!  Every little bit will help!

But, let’s talk more about THIS tea, shall we?

The base of this tea is a Golden Monkey, and it’s delicious!  It’s rich, robust, and full-flavored.  It has chocolate-y notes along with that earthy, leathery flavor that I’ve come to love about a Golden Monkey.  A hint of smoke in the distance.  Undertones of caramel.  It’s very smooth and has a pleasant, thick texture to it.  There is some astringency at the tail but it doesn’t disrupt from the enjoyment of the overall flavor.  It’s not bitter.  It’s just really, really LOVELY!

The champagne flavors have been added in a smart way – they don’t go overboard.  They’re not too much.  It has a light, champagne-y flavor that complements the overall tea.  I can taste the champagne but more importantly, I taste the nuances of the Golden Monkey and when you have a tea like this Golden Monkey – you WANT to taste it!  I like how the champagne is represented here, in a way that I can taste it (it’s especially noticeable in the aftertaste) but not so much so that it overpowers the excellent flavors of the tea itself.

This is a really enjoyable cuppa.  I’m surprised that more people haven’t grabbed this one up!  It’s a really lovely tea.

Robert Fortune Blend 41 (Darjeeling-Yunnan) from Upton Tea Imports


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Tea Description:

Named after Robert Fortune who toured the tea producing regions in the 1840s under the auspices of the East India Company. Darjeeling adds a pleasing brightness; Yunnan lends a dark, honey colored liquor and delicately spicy overtones. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of dry leaf of this Robert Fortune Blend 41 from Upton Tea Imports – which is a blend of Darjeeling and Yunnan teas – is woody with earthy low notes.  The fragrance of the brewed tea is very similar to the dry leaf – woody, earthy, with notes of sweetness (like honey!) and hints of fruit and flower in the distance.  It’s a very inviting scent … very autumnal.

This tastes really quite nice.  Darjeeling tends to be a lighter, brighter … sort of sparkling taste on the tongue and the Yunnan – which is a more full-bodied tea – seems to fill in the flavor and provide a very well-rounded taste.  The deep flavor of the Yunnan is a very compelling complement to the light, crisp taste of the Darjeeling.

There is a distinct woodsy tone to this cup, giving it a definite “masculine” sort of taste.  I taste notes of fermented grape, evoking thoughts of a well-aged wine:  something that I don’t drink very often (read:  never) but, if I were to indulge in such a luxury … these delightful fruit notes are something that I would expect to experience in a well-aged, fine wine.

There is a sweetness to this tea as well … a sweetness that reminds me of honey and caramel.  Both honey and caramel are sweet notes that I associate with “heavy” or “thick” flavors, and here, the honey-esque, caramel-y notes are decidedly thinner than teas that I might usually note with a honey tone or a caramel note.

There are floral notes here too, but they are quite distant.  Imagine a field of flowers in the distance … you can’t really see the individual flowers but just a field of color … this is what I note here.  A taste that is reminiscent of a flowery sweetness but nothing that is too distinct.

What I am enjoying most with this tea is the complexity and the body of the tea.  I like that this is not as robust and full as a Yunnan … but not as crisp and light as a Darjeeling … it is skillfully blended to find a happy medium between these two dynamic teas to create a flavor that really excites the palate.

Fortune Dragon Green Tea Blend from Zen Tara Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Zen Tara Teas

Tea Description:

Enjoy great tasting tea and good luck in the new year with our exclusive green tea blend that celebrates the 2012 Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon.

A pleasant combination of premium green tea, warming floral ingredients and tropical citrus creates a flavorful cup of tea perfect for drinking throughout the year.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review: 

My first couple of sips of this tea were a little disappointing.  I thought that maybe I did something wrong or had over-steeped it.  It kind of tasted sour, but not a lemon-y kind of sour that I had expected.  It just tasted … off.  I decided to give it a couple of minutes to let it cool and try it again before tossing it, and that’s all it needed.

After allowing it to cool for about two minutes, the flavor of the tea has improved tremendously.  No signs of over-steeping, no bitterness, no sour taste.  Just really delicious green tea that has been flavored with the essence of passion fruit and lemon.   A hint of chrysanthemum offers an intriguing contrast.

The green tea has a mellow flavor to it.  It’s a little sweet, and offers a slight kelp-y vegetative taste in the background.  It’s a soft green tea taste, one that I’d recommend to someone who seeks a green tea that doesn’t have that strong grassy flavor.  Instead of a strong, grassy flavor, the green tea base here lends a smooth and almost creamy texture to the cup, allowing the flavors of lemon, passion fruit and chrysanthemum to do their thing.

And while lemon and passion fruit are not two fruit flavors that I’d have thought of combining, they really work well together.  The lemon is tart and tangy without being TOO tart, thanks due largely to the sweet, luscious flavor of the passion fruit.  And while the chrysanthemum is not a strong flavor in this cup, it adds just a little extra interest to it.  Just a little extra *something* that make the taste buds perk up and say “hey, what is that?  That’s different and I like it!”

Overall, a very vibrant cup of tea, soothing and yet energizing in its own way.