Jin Hou Black Tea, otherwise known as Golden Monkey Black Tea, is a relatively old Chinese tea. In an era when only green teas were consumed, alongside the only black tea being Lapsang Souchong, Jin Hou came about to meet export desires. Black tea was already growing immense popularity in the west. While locals back in China didn't necessarily have a taste for the tea themselves, they experimented with farming techniques to produce some delicious black teas.
Briefly On Black Tea (Hong Cha)
In the west, we refer to it as "Black Tea," while the term "Hong Cha" ("Red Tea") is used in Asia. Nowadays, black tea has become the favored afternoon tea of many across the world. Much so that most countries have their own recipes for preparing black tea. However, the black tea that is commonly made with milk, sugar, lemon, or spices is vastly different from high-quality black tea.
Black tea was first developed in the mid 17th century (Late Ming, Early Qing Dynasty). Prior to then, the most widely consumed tea in China was green (unoxidized) tea.
Read more about black tea here.
Why Golden Monkey?
The name of Golden Monkey black tea doesn't have any fancy legends like many other Chinese black teas do. It's quite simple — the furry golden tips of the tea leaves resemble monkey paws. Monkeys are not uncommon in Fujian province, frequently seen jumping around the mountain slopes. Also, monkeys are respected creatures in Chinese culture and mythology. A prime example is the story of the monkey king, to whom many tea pets are dedicated, by the way. So we see the name Golden Monkey as an honorable calling for such a delicious tea.
The tea leaves' fuzzy appearance comes from the tea bush varietal — Fuding Dahoe, which is known for its soft "hairy" tea leaves. A trait revered in the world of tea farmers and connoisseurs. Only the pekoe is harvested, the first tea leaf plus a bud. Which makes this tea extremely gentle. However, the iconic golden color of this tea doesn't have much to do with the tea bushes — it's a result of exceptional processing. While the tea leaves undergo oxidization, the farmers know the precise moment when to stop it, leaving the tea leaf tips with the beautiful golden color.
Golden Monkey Black Tea is seen as the hong cha version of Silver Needle White Tea in the tea world.
Many black tea fans choose to make Jin Hou Black Tea their everyday sip. It's no wonder why. The tea has a timeless flavor, in a way that it can never get old. Plus, this tea is known for lasting through many infusions, even getting better mid-session after a few infusions. It has a flavor that gently lingers on the palate. If you are looking for a tea to sip throughout the day (especially in this autumn weather), we recommend Golden Monkey Black Tea without hesitation.
Jin Hou Black Tea Taste
Jin Hou black tea exhibits many of the taste profiles of a classic yet top-shelf black tea. If you are already a fan of Chinese black tea, we don't doubt that you will love Golden Monkey. At first sip, you are met with the iconic black tea taste, sweet and malty. Further, bright floral and fruity notes develop. The taste of apricots, apples, and quality cocoa becomes evident. Finally, you are left with a pleasant sweetness lingering on the palate, a flavor reminiscent of baked sweet potato.
How To Brew Jin Hou Black Tea Gong Fu Style
- Heat water to 195℉ / 90℃
- Prepare a gaiwan or teapot
- Use 6 grams of tea leaves per session.
- Rinse the tea.
- Brew for 5 seconds
- Decant into a cha hai and pour into cups
- For every subsequent infusion, add 5 seconds
- Brew the tea until the taste begins to fade; this may be up to 10 infusions or more
Or, you can brew it the good old Western Style: