Great Green Monkey

There’s ice on the ground and sleet in the sky! Winter is finally upon us (though not quite as dreadfully frigid, break-into-song, snowman-building, Snow Queen given as I might wish). It’s time for some real tea brewing…


Or it would be. It turns out my hot water kettle didn’t quite make it through my recent move unscathed. Although it was never left outside, my kettle nevertheless gave up its ghost and won’t dispense more than about two fingers of water a day anymore. Normally I’d flush the filter with a citrus cleaning tablet, but that process is exhausting and time consuming, and the lid lock had already broken on this kettle. It’ll cost me at least $75 to replace so I may end up putting off that purchase for a few weeks yet.


Great Green Monkey, from Royal Oak’s own Goldfish Tea, is an utterly terrific Green. It’s so refined it’s hard for me to identify the exact tea used (naturally it isn’t available through their web store at present). It’s definitely a Chinese Green: the raw tea are long flat translucent white/green leaves that greatly resemble Taiping Houkui (a quick web search I did after writing this review reveals that Great Green Monkey is another name for Taiping Houkui, but that’s not conclusive in my mind). Additionally, like Taiping Houkui, Great Green Monkey is effused with a subtly burnt woody austere aftertaste that reminds me I still need to read the recently published biography of Dowager Cixi). Although, Taiping Houkui’s spent leaves tend to lay in a neat pile, Great Green Monkey leaves seem to want to clump together and adhere tightly to each other during brewing which makes me wonder if perhaps it’s a cousin rather than the real deal. Otherwise they’re very similar: a vibrant Green, high antioxidant aroma entices you into sipping a lovely tinged white tea, much lighter in color than most Greens. Although refined, Great Green Monkey is better when burnt and posses a mostly gritless texture and surprisingly low caffeine content. I wouldn’t necessarily stake my reputation on this Great Green Monkey actually being Taiping Houkui (there are many knock offs from towns surrounding Houkeng that aren’t actually produced from the historic Shi Da Cha species), but the experience is very similar. If i had to make an educated guess though, I’d say Great Green Monkey is most likely an Anhui Green. All said, a very lovely tea; highly recommended!

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