INGREDIENTS: Black tea, Special Tippy Orange Pekoe, characterised by Golden Tips.
HEALTH PROPERTIES: High in anti-oxidants
CAFFEINE LEVELS: Medium
ETHICS: Ethical Tea Partnership and GMO free
THE STORY OF GOLDEN MONKEY
Golden Monkey is sometimes referred to by the grower (because this tea is so good) as King of Panyong Congou. After a painstakingly labor intensive production process, this tea is hand sorted to ensure a beautiful leaf appearance. The leaves are curly, wiry and well twisted with a high percentage of golden tips evident. 'Tip' is the tip of the new shoots and during the manufacturing process these tips turn a gold brown. 'Tippy tea' is a leading indicator of exceptional quality, highly selective grading and usually only available in the first few weeks of the new season (New season teas have the most flavor, rarest and most eagerly sought by tea connoisseurs).
Panyong Congou Teas are mainly produced in the mountainous region of Fu'an County and Shounin County. The finished teas are made from a local variety of tea bush that is noted for its rich aroma, sweet taste, golden color and well-twisted tippy leaf.
In earlier times Golden Monkey was the tea of Taipans and local overlords. They claimed that the secret for this tea was that it had to be plucked by the golden monkey which centuries ago inhabited the forests of Fujian Province. This special tea was very rare and the Taipans demanded every ounce of tea because they claimed that it gave them 'the agility and sexual prowess of the patriarch of a golden monkey troop'. (Obviously stiff competition from the monkey) Today the plucking process has changed somewhat but it is fascinating to know the tradition behind this marvelous tea. No monkeys were used in the plucking of this tea, though we debate philosophy with them, and take advice from them on matters of investment and finance. The dry tea leaf has notes of hazlenut.
BREWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOT TEA: Infuse one slightly heaping teaspoon for each 8 ounce cup with boiling water for 3-7 minutes.
Infuse 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of tea with 1 1/4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water, and add the infused tea, straining the leaves, to the pitcher. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Add lemon and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
Infuse 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea with 6 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the tea to a 12 ounce glass, filled with ice, straining the leaves. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Add lemon and sweeten to taste.
NUMBER OF CUPS: 15-20 cups from each 50 grams of tea, with a single use of the leaves. Loose leaf tea is traditionally infused 3 times, with a different flavor profile following each infusion. Accordingly, each 50 gram bag can make up to 60 cups of tea.