This was yet another of my June sipdowns. It was also the tea that convinced me to take a short break from Yunnan black teas. Prior to trying this tea, I had worked my way through a number of Yunnan black teas close together and was starting to burn out on them. Despite my boredom with such teas at the time I started drinking this one, I was still able to enjoy it a great deal and found it to be a very nice, very solid Yunnan pure bud black tea. Unfortunately, I have tried a number of quality Simao pure bud black teas over the years, and this one did not rank among the best of those teas, but it was still a very nice offering worthy of one’s time.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of malt, cream, pine, sugarcane, earth, and eucalyptus. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread, black pepper, camphor, green bell pepper, and chocolate. The first infusion introduced aromas of cinnamon, roasted almond, and vanilla as well as some subtle scents of plantain. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of sweet potato, molasses, baked bread, cream, malt, sugarcane, pine, green bell pepper, and eucalyptus that were chased by hints of chocolate, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted almond, and plantain. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of sweet potato, clove, and orange zest. Notes of orange zest, lemon zest, plum, green beans, minerals, clove, and marshmallow came out in the mouth along with belatedly emerging earth and camphor notes as well as stronger and more immediate impressions of chocolate, vanilla, black pepper, and cinnamon. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, malt, cream, baked bread, earth, sugarcane, and lemon zest that were chased by hints of chocolate, pine, orange zest, camphor, clove, eucalyptus, and black pepper.

Overall, this was a very nice Simao pure bud black tea. It did not really offering anything out of the ordinary, but it was very nice nonetheless. Fans of such teas would likely be pleased with it.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Camphor, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Green Beans, Green Bell Peppers, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Plums, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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