90
drank Simao Summit by Mandala Tea
2338 tasting notes

I just got my new order from Mandala Tea. I must admit I was in a panic thinking the bamboo raw pu-erhs would be gone soon. But I also had to get some other stuff. :) Garrett was very nice, shipped my order promptly, included a nice note and samples. Terrific customer service from these people, I can tell you!

First steep: 2 minutes.
This is what the Chinese would call a red tea and my tea liquor is a beautiful, dark reddish color. The flavor coming from this is very molasses-y and chocolate-y and some malt. I was thinking it would be similar to a golden monkey, perhaps. But it is different.

I like the slight astringency to this and it also seems to have a bit more “heft” and depth than some Chinese red teas I have had. I could definitely see craving this in the morning, but it also makes a nice after lunch tea. There is a bit of sweetness in the tea liquor, but it isn’t a precious kind of sweet. It’s more a dark chocolate kind of sweet.

When I first steeped this up I was thinking ho, hum, another sweet Chinese red tea. I like them but they all start tasting the same after a while. Then I crave the richness of something like a Ceylon. This sort of brings both worlds together for me and melds them into a super tasty, happy tea infusion.

Second Steep: Five glorious minutes.
Not as hefty as the first steep but still full of flavor. I am picking up on the slight briskness a little bit more. Still lots of molasses but perhaps a bit of spice as well. Clearly I need to gong fu this one to pick up on more subtle flavor changes. But this has been quite an enjoyable and even a bit surprising afternoon cuppa.

Sometimes I wonder if I give too many teas high ratings? But my ratings are subjective and are based on my enjoyment of the tea. As you may have noticed, I really like tea! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec
ScottTeaMan

Zero “likes” then all of the sudden two. You beat me to it again KS! :))

Amy how much leaf did you use? I find that for me, most teas can start to taste the same if you drink them enuff. I mix it up I find that if I have heavier foods some greens and Darjeelings aren’t as good after the meal. I think a nice black (red) tea like this can be the best thing after a meal.

Azzrian

This sounds much like the Shang tea I reviewed this morning! YUM Mandala is another place I have wanted to order from!

TeaBrat

@ Azzrian – it has similar flavors to the Shang tea but is not as sweet and has a bit more heft
@Scott – I used about 2 tsp. of leaf. And yeah I have to mix things up a lot or I do get bored very easily (short attention span??)

ScottTeaMan

Hehehehe…….Was 2 tsp for your 12 oz?? mug??

Scott B

Amy-I wonder if I keep my reviews too clumped together. And I am finding it quite difficult to hand out a 90 rating myself.

TeaBrat

2 tsp for around 10 ounces. I tend to use more leaf than most people I think.

Azzrian

Bummer my free shipping code is not working – will wait till Im not so tea cash poor lol

TeaBrat

@Scott B- but what about Candy Cane Lane? heh heh!

Scott B

@AmyYep, I think it’s the only one-and I did it from memory.

@Azzrian – If you contact the company and tell them your free shipping code does not work, they might give you a new code. Worked for me once-albeit with a different company

Bonnie

Give the ratings you want to. Afterall, who’s grading you?

TeaBrat

Wheeeeeeee!

Angrboda

Your rating system is fine. I do it the same way you do, and base the rating on my subjective experience of it on that particular day. I feel I can be more honest that way. For the same reason I’m also not afraid to use the lower end of the scale, although I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to avoid it. But if my subjective opinion and experience with something everybody else is praising to sky only really feels like 20 points to me, then 20 points it gets. As long as you feel like you’re being honest it’s totally fine whichever way you do it. :)

TeaBrat

@Angrboda – thanks. :) Most of the time any plain tea that comes from a quality source is bound to make me happy. When I give out bad ratings it’s usually due to a lousy flavored tea.

Garret

Tea – one of the things I tell my customers and tea class attendees is this: One can weigh out their tea to the gram, have water that they draw from the same source, at the precise same temp as the day before, using the exact same tea implements and steeping times and it can be sometimes be an entirely different tea experience. Wild. And yet, not so wild, given that the energy of the day is different, the atmosphere is different, WE are different. I love tea. I love the various experiences that one single tea can bring me. It helps to deepen my awareness of my world, of myself, of others and gets me to stop judging it all.

ScottTeaMan

Couldn’t agree more Amy-lousy flavored tea INDEED.

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Comments

ScottTeaMan

Zero “likes” then all of the sudden two. You beat me to it again KS! :))

Amy how much leaf did you use? I find that for me, most teas can start to taste the same if you drink them enuff. I mix it up I find that if I have heavier foods some greens and Darjeelings aren’t as good after the meal. I think a nice black (red) tea like this can be the best thing after a meal.

Azzrian

This sounds much like the Shang tea I reviewed this morning! YUM Mandala is another place I have wanted to order from!

TeaBrat

@ Azzrian – it has similar flavors to the Shang tea but is not as sweet and has a bit more heft
@Scott – I used about 2 tsp. of leaf. And yeah I have to mix things up a lot or I do get bored very easily (short attention span??)

ScottTeaMan

Hehehehe…….Was 2 tsp for your 12 oz?? mug??

Scott B

Amy-I wonder if I keep my reviews too clumped together. And I am finding it quite difficult to hand out a 90 rating myself.

TeaBrat

2 tsp for around 10 ounces. I tend to use more leaf than most people I think.

Azzrian

Bummer my free shipping code is not working – will wait till Im not so tea cash poor lol

TeaBrat

@Scott B- but what about Candy Cane Lane? heh heh!

Scott B

@AmyYep, I think it’s the only one-and I did it from memory.

@Azzrian – If you contact the company and tell them your free shipping code does not work, they might give you a new code. Worked for me once-albeit with a different company

Bonnie

Give the ratings you want to. Afterall, who’s grading you?

TeaBrat

Wheeeeeeee!

Angrboda

Your rating system is fine. I do it the same way you do, and base the rating on my subjective experience of it on that particular day. I feel I can be more honest that way. For the same reason I’m also not afraid to use the lower end of the scale, although I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to avoid it. But if my subjective opinion and experience with something everybody else is praising to sky only really feels like 20 points to me, then 20 points it gets. As long as you feel like you’re being honest it’s totally fine whichever way you do it. :)

TeaBrat

@Angrboda – thanks. :) Most of the time any plain tea that comes from a quality source is bound to make me happy. When I give out bad ratings it’s usually due to a lousy flavored tea.

Garret

Tea – one of the things I tell my customers and tea class attendees is this: One can weigh out their tea to the gram, have water that they draw from the same source, at the precise same temp as the day before, using the exact same tea implements and steeping times and it can be sometimes be an entirely different tea experience. Wild. And yet, not so wild, given that the energy of the day is different, the atmosphere is different, WE are different. I love tea. I love the various experiences that one single tea can bring me. It helps to deepen my awareness of my world, of myself, of others and gets me to stop judging it all.

ScottTeaMan

Couldn’t agree more Amy-lousy flavored tea INDEED.

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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