Black Tea Review: Adagio Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Golden Monkey

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Fujian Province, China

The Leaves: Unique looking leaves that are long and slightly twisted with golden tips. The smell of the dry leaf reminds me a bit of chocolate biscuits

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, medium-bodied tea with a fruity, earthy and biscuity taste. Topping it all off is a touch of sweetness.

Overall: I found that the Golden Monkey had wonderful character and plenty of depth to keep my full interest. I tend to like my black teas with a bit more body; this one seemed to be on the lighter side. Nonetheless, it makes an enjoyable cup of tea that I am considering keeping on hand long-term.

Tea Review:

I have come across many tea enthusiasts who are quite smitten with Golden Monkey, so I’ve been looking forward to trying some of this tea for a while now.

My first cup did not disappoint.

In fact, I was fascinated by each delightful sip. It was as if each mouthful had something else to reveal.

The top note for me was a stone fruit taste, which had just a hint of sweetness.

Right beneath the fruitiness is an earthiness. I’m not talking about dirt here; the taste is as if nature herself has been captured in the essence of the tea.

To bring it all together is a rather biscuity flavor, which I’ve discovered to be regularly referred to as malty by other tea lovers. But, I prefer to call it biscuity, because that is what the taste reminds me of—biscuits raising in a warm kitchen.

As the tea cools, it becomes slightly creamy. Upon reaching the bottom of my cup, I find that I desperately want more.

I stare momentarily at the empty vessel and see that a single drop of tea is still to be had, and that final taste discloses one last treasure, an ever so slight touch of chocolate.

Because of the rich-earthiness this tea provides, each sip transports me to an awe-inspiring underground cavern filled with lush green foliage, striking blossoms and exotic wildlife, much like the Genesis cave in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Adagio Sample Packaging


I had ordered a sample size, which came in a foil-lined pouch. Steeping instructions and the name of the tea where written on the re-sealable bag.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F.

First, I attempted to use a stainless steel, mesh ball infuser, but it didn’t really allow enough room for the tea leaves to fully expand. I much preferred using my one-serving glass teapot, which worked perfectly, especially for the multiple infusions.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to steep three good cups of tea from 1 teaspoon of Golden Monkey.

I steeped the leaves for about two minutes for the first infusion. Then, for the second infusion, I steeped them for about three more minutes. For the final infusion, I gave the leaves a nice long steep of about five minutes.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!


Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

4 comments on “Black Tea Review: Adagio Golden Monkey

  1. Kurt September 12, 2011 10:16 AM

    A very nice review! I will have to try some of this tea. I’ve had both Yunnan Gold and Golden Spring from Adagio, and enjoyed both thoroughly. Golden Spring has an amazing aroma and the taste lives up to the expectations.

    I just found your blog today, but I have enjoyed reading several of your reviews. Nice presentation… keep up the good work!

    • A Girl With Tea September 12, 2011 11:47 AM

      Thank you for your kind words Kurt! Also, thanks for the two Adagio tea recommendations; I haven’t tried either of them yet. I’ll be doing more Tea Reviews this month. I think one of them will be from Adagio’s Master’s Collection.

  2. Alex Zorach November 4, 2010 1:27 PM

    I have yet to try any golden monkey tea from Fujian province like this one; however, I am a big fan of Yunnan Gold. I just tried a great one from Rishi Tea that I have not yet reviewed.

    Have you tried both the Fujian and Yunnan styles of golden tippy black tea? If so I’d be really curious to hear how you think these styles differ…the leaf looks so similar but I’ve never so much as smelled the leaf of the tea from Fujian.

    • a girl with tea November 5, 2010 12:25 PM

      Hi Alex, I haven’t tried a Yunnan Gold yet. Thanks for the Rishi Tea suggestion! I haven’t tasted any of their teas yet; they are very high on my tea brands to try list!

      I like your question regarding taste testing a Fujian and Yunnan golden tippy black tea side-by-side. I agree that it would be quite interesting to see how the flavors differ.

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