ZY07: Season's Pick Yunnan Black Snail

Tea type
Black Tea
Yunnan Black Tea
Bitter, Cream, Earth, Spices, Spicy, Dark Chocolate, Sour, Tobacco
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rumpus Parable
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 7 oz / 201 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

From Upton Tea Imports

This selection is hand-crafted from a bold leaf Yunnan varietal. The dry leaves have a tightly rolled spiral “snail” shape, with a dark color, accented with some golden tips. The smooth cup has notes of cocoa and caramel, as well as the classic Yunnan spice hints.

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12 Tasting Notes

985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning…..

I needed some spearmint, and Tommy’s review of this caught my eye. I was just going to buy a sample, but knowing how much I love the Golden Snail from Harney, I was pretty confident that I would love a Black Snail tea. Tommy’s review included such great pics, too. It was a no brainer for me. The price is $8 for 250 grams making it a huge bargain.

As expected, there were only a few golden tips in this one. The tea itself is still tightly rolled. One of the things that is so remarkable about a snail tea is how huge it unfurls after steeping. The usual three perfect teaspoons of tea I use to brew a pot expands to fill the whole steeping basket, where most teas I brew in my teapot only expand to about half or less.

The liquor is thick, cocoa noted, malty, and a little spicy like you would expect from a yunnan. I don’t get the sweetness that I get from my Golden Snail, but that is pretty much expected, too. The Black Snail makes a rich cup of tea at a bargain price, and I am thrilled with my purchase. Thank you, Tommy the Toad for your great review. Why does anyone need to spend a fortune for great tea?

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

This is adding to my list of teas I have to try from Upton…

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769 tasting notes

Little bit of smokey, little bit of sweet in the background, no bitterness, and it steeped 3 pots worth today at work. A decent Yunnan, a good black, and not expensive.

What more could you want?

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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540 tasting notes

“I enjoyed this one with milk and sugar not because it needed it but because I just wanted to because it was really good, I like teas this way sometimes I just don’t like having to bring out the cream and sugar and all cuz I’m picky and that is a whole different setup from my “usual” but this one really just almost taste like a chocolate flavored Tea with milk and sugar, Really I have had “Milk Chocolate” Flavored Teas that just come nowhere near this one"
Please view my blog post here for a longer review and a “rant” about mean peoples on the interweb, Please don’t view my blog on this one if you hate a rant or are a mean peoples or get offend by a few potty words :)


This sounds right up my alley! Thanks so much for the review. The only tea that is worth it, is tea that you will drink!

El Monstro

I like this tea a lot, and prefer it to a lot of the highly rated, more expensive stuff. I’d laugh in someone’s face if they attempted mocking me for it.

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45 tasting notes

After reading SimplyJenW’s tasting notes on this tea, I added it to my order this week when I was reordering my standard breakfast Keemun. I knew I’d love it, and I’m pleased to say I was right! The smoooooth, cocoa-y flavor made me smile involuntarily at the very first sip, reminding me of other China black cocoa-y favorites that I’ve saved for special moments. What a thrill to find one that’s affordable enough to enjoy every day — although I’ll probably still reserve it for weekends, to preserve its “special” status.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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12 tasting notes

This is just fantastic. Rich with a thick mouthfeel, slightly smokey, quite sweet, with strong malty chocolate and hazelnut notes. Very addictive, and the price is almost unreasonably low—I would have paid much more for it. If you love Yunnan, treat yourself to this.

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600 tasting notes

Yunnan black snail.

Ru yao dragon teapot. Gongfucha.

Dry leaf: peppery.

Wet leaf: spicy, spices, peppery.

1x short rinse.

Light steep; I taste/smell; light
-> cream, earth, spicy, spices. Medium bitterness.

Medium steep; I taste/smell: light
-> cream, spiceyness. medium -> earth, spices. Medium to strong bitterness.

Heavy steep; I taste/smell: Medium -> spicyness, cream. Strong -> earth, spices, bitterness.

All in all a yummy tea! Nice cha qi. Nice taste on lighter steeps. I rate an 80 as I’m not much for black teas, save for lapsang souchong.

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Earth, Spices, Spicy

190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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14 tasting notes

I abuse tea… I have to come to grips with that. Especially work tea, so work tea has special requirements that need to be meet.

1. Must be hardy and not get astringent with over brewing – a common occurrence
2. Must be drinkable hot all the way to room temp/cold (as it cools in the cup)

So first off.. I over brewed this while emailing. oops? It’s not too bitter, yay! Chocolate, tobacco, nice solid cup with a brightness to it… unfortunately, as it cooled, the brightness turned sour. I will have to taste this again when I can be fair and pay more attn to the brew times, but unfortunately for work this one won’t do. I’ll stick with my Upton Hunan Mao Feng which was restocked after I picked up this sample.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Sour, Tobacco

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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988 tasting notes

Mmm, thanks very much to Oolong Owl for sending me a small sample of this.

I’m sipping it right now and the taste is malty, sweet, and complex. The brewed tea smells similarly spicy and chocolaty. In fact, it smells like chocolate-covered raisins! Now I’m craving Glossettes candy, but this will do in a pinch.

I think I’ll add this to my wishlist.

Edit: I just checked the Upton Tea Imports website and found that shipping to Canada starts at $13.60. Yikes. I may not restock this after all. Steepster-folk, do any of you have any suggestions for anything from Yunnan Sourcing that may have a similar flavour profile? Spice, chocolate-covered raisins?

Liquid Proust

Starts at… that sounds painful. I wish shipping had categories because dried tea leaf sounds like a silly thing to charge a lot to ship.

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26 tasting notes

I have been more than pleasantly surprised by this tea. My wife and I are in the process of paying off all of our debt, and part of that means that I have had to cut back my monthly tea budget. Two months ago I was looking for the best quality tea I could get for the lowest price and stumbled across this in the “Seasons Pick” section at Upton. I am huge fan of Yunnan teas and so I went out on a limb and bought an entire kilo of this stuff without having ever tried it. I was a little terrified.

This has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable teas for daily drinking that I have had in a long time. It doesn’t have the same complexity as some of the nicer Yunnans that I have tried, but then I knew ahead of time that it wouldn’t. It did, however, surprise me with a depth and richness that I have fallen in love with. It is not at all bitter, but has the boldness I need out of a morning cup of tea. As I said, I have had one or more pots of this for two months now and have yet to tire of it. I am going to miss it here in a week or so when I run out.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

i’m not sure if i tried this one yet. they sell nice teas!

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160 tasting notes

This tea smells like milk chocolate and honey, with maybe a hint of molasses, and basically tastes the same. Has a little bit of an aftertaste with a faint tanginess to it that kind of reminds me of green grapes. I prefer this with a short steep time and lower temperature. Good taste and great price makes this a good Yunnan for every day use.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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