Seriously one of the most dusty/filamented teas I’ve come across, 100 Monkeys Loose Leaf is utterly gorgeous. During brewing, all these itty-bitty particles do a majestic dance. The result is a stupendous russet peach liquor.
As if the loose leaf wasn’t enough to make me swoon, the aroma of this tea just about knocks my socks off. The spent tea actually smells like a yeasty dough rising. However, the liquor… somehow smells like the sea. Briney with hints of driftwood and wet sand. Honestly, I have no idea how Eli found this tea but it’s just about the best tea I’ve ever smelled.
In flavor, 100 Monkeys tastes a great deal like a robust sencha (though it’s actually a White) with undertones of crumbly driftwood. 100 Monkeys also boasts an excellent tongue-tingling texture, owing no doubt to its immense particulate content.
I’ve done no small amount of research into this one and not turned up much beyond that 100 Monkeys is a rare Mao Jian (everyone claims it’s a “Mao Feng” but they’re just basing that on the standard English translation into “White downy tips”, not the pluck style of bud and one leaf) White tea from Hunan. Here’s one of the more concise versions of the legend surrounding this tea, as borrowed from Capital Teas:
Its name stems from a centuries old tale that centers on an old tea grower and his wife who worked a small plot of land high in the hills. So the story goes, the couple was being terrorized by a renegade band of monkeys. They tried everything to stop the monkeys and finally in desperation the husband decided to ask an ancient shaman who lived in a remote cave over the mountains. The Shaman gave the man a recipe for a new type of tea written on a parchment. The shaman explained that since the monkeys were looking for tea if the man gave them 100lbs of this special recipe they would not return. The man left the 100lbs of tea in a wooden chest near their tea patch, the next morning the chest was empty and the monkeys never returned.
- Aroma – 100
- Taste – 94
- Texture – 91
- Spunk – 98
- Price – 90
- Availability – 99
- Appearance – 98
Mean score – 96% I believe that’s a new record people. xD Well done, Eli! *hugs*