China Yunnan Simao Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Chocolate, Cream, Dates, Fennel, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Powdered sugar, Caramel, Pepper, Milk, Nutty, Wet Earth, Yams
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 6 oz / 186 ml

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From What-Cha

Made entirely from tender young buds and expertly processed by hand to form the buds into ‘snails’. The tea has a strong yet smooth taste of milk chocolate and raisin bread with a malt finish.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Brilliant aroma of chocolate and raisin
- Incredible full taste of milk chocolate and raisin bread with a malt finish

Harvest: Spring, March 2015
Origin: Simao District, Pu’er Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
Sourced: Specialist Yunnan tea wholesaler

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 1 teaspoon per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

About What-Cha View company

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26 Tasting Notes

1 tasting notes

Maybe the batch I received was bad but this tea was a big disappointment. The leaves have little fragrance and the steep is overwhelmingly bitter with no fruit notes. Have tried several different time/temperature combinations to no avail. Tried contacting the owner of Watch-Cha Tea, also to no avail. He had this tea on sale when I purchased it and I can see why. Never again from Watch-Cha. I wouldn’t even gift this – it’s going straight in the garbage unfortunately.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I’m sorry you didn’t like the tea, as one of my favourite teas which I have on a very regular basis, I can say that there is nothing wrong with the batch and it was on sale as I wanted to clear out the 2018 in preparation for the 2019.

I’m sorry for the lack of response to your getting in contact, I’ve been inundated with Spam on my new website and sadly some genuine messages have been missed as a result. I’ll see if I can find your message and respond.

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900 tasting notes

Here is another review from the backlog. I think this one was either from late May or early June. Like many of the other Chinese black teas sourced by What-Cha, this was an extremely likable, high quality offering. I think it compared favorably to similar offerings from other vendors. As a matter of fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that this tea came from the same producer that supplies the golden snail black teas offered by Whispering Pines Tea Company and/or Yunnan Sourcing.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of chocolate, malt, honey, and sweet potato. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of baked bread and molasses. The first infusion brought out a stronger malt aroma with some subtle cream and vanilla accents. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of malt, cream, honey, chocolate, and butter while hints of sweet potato and baked bread lingered in the background. Subsequent infusions saw aromas of butter and pine emerge on the nose. Molasses and vanilla belatedly appeared in the mouth along with new flavors of orange zest, date, minerals, raisin, and pine. I also noted some hints of smoke and brown sugar along with some spicy, herbal impressions reminiscent of a combination of fennel, black pepper, and camphor. The final few infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, cream, butter, malt, and chocolate backed by subtle honey and herbal impressions.

I tend to be a big fan of many Yunnan black teas and strongly believe them to represent some of the best of contemporary Chinese tea craft. That being said, this was a particularly appealing tea with a wonderful texture in the mouth and a complex, harmonious combination of aromas and flavors. Nothing was out of place here, and the tea yielded consistently strong results over the course of a fairly lengthy gongfu session (well, fairly lengthy by my standards anyway). I could see fans of Yunnan black teas being into this one. Give it a shot if you enjoy such teas.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Butter, Camphor, Chocolate, Cream, Dates, Fennel, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Pine, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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335 tasting notes

Cinnamon raisin, medium toasted. That’s what this tea tastes like to me. So rich and tasty. Sweet, no astringency.

Again, I am sucker for black teas with a raisin description. I have no idea, I hate actual raisins. But I just LOVE it as a flavor profile. I will easily go through my sample, and would buy again.

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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2 tasting notes

Adorable little golden snails. Nice malty flavor with some not-too-overbearing sweetness that shines through.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Raisins

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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5184 tasting notes

Snaily snails, you are a delightful companion during this game of munchkins.


Snailey snail!


Snailey snail! :)

May this nickname stick

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11113 tasting notes

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so happy this one is back in my cupboard. Delicious chocolatey, malty snailey goodness. Honestly. Yum. Bumping my rating up on this one because i am a fan even more so this time…

Evol Ving Ness

Malty snailey goodness. :)


Awesome – love snailey goodness

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1013 tasting notes

My baby is now restocked! yesss… I literally just finished off the last of the old batch yesterday so the delivery gods will be lavished with praise today. Also doubles as a nice reward for submitting a paper today. So many happy coincidences.

Everything is more vibrant than my 2018 batch; the aroma, the colour, the starchy taste… I’m looking forward to getting to know the the 2020 version of this tea better.

Steep Count: 2 + ongoing

(spring 2020 harvest)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Milk, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes


That’s great news! It’s always nice when you can get more of a tea you like. I’m looking forward to getting some 2020 tea, hopefully sooner rather than later.


Yes, it’s always exciting to try the incoming harvests! I was going to hold off and then realized all of my dwindling teas are from 2018 or earlier. It was time :)


Sounds wonderful!

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1155 tasting notes

Backlog: I had a physically exhausting walk after a previous leg day and a series of obnoxiously high bloodsugars. My tumbler was sealed shut, so I could not plug in the snails, dispense the hot water, and inject the smooth caffeine this tea provides.

I was dying for some tea in some proper form. So, I come into a dining hall with Shang’s Tangerine Blossom, disposable loose leaf bags, and this tea without a single intention to eat anything. I go by to the tea water dispensers, and thankfully, the temperature was just right for these two teas at a good 190 F. The hot water in the dining halls are almost always around boiling and they stay scalding for a near hour unless I splash cold water in. Luckily, I did not have to put a single thought into the temperature. All I had to do was pay attention to the ratio and qualities of the teas.

Upping up the stakes for the sake of my enjoyment, and really, my empty stomach craving something resembling taste, I double -fisted this tea with the Tangerine Blossom. I took time notice the little similarities and differences between the two. I only prefer the Tangerine Blossom only because of it’s floral-citrus character against the cocoa malt body of dry tannin. This one had the silkier body and the smoother run down. I thought it was odd how comparable it was to a cocoa infused rooibos I had. Cocoa really is an accurate approximation for this tea. Thank God I bought a decent size of it.

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62 tasting notes

Soft malt and light cocoa are immediately apparent, followed by gentle smokiness and a note of baked bread. This tea is supremely smooth and lacks any rough edges, without seeming weak in flavor or mouthfeel.

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921 tasting notes

Happy Lupercalia everyone! It is an ancient Roman festival held roughly February 13-15 celebrating things totally outdated, like cleansing and fertility! It is all about the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus (maybe) and fertility gods of the fields (maybe) basically it is one of those holidays that history has not been kind to so researching it is just a mess, but it is special to me! See when Ben and I first got together we didn’t want to celebrate Valentines because neither of us have good associations with that day, so we rummaged on the internet and ran into this archaic holiday and decided to use it instead, specifically on the 15th because that means the restaurants won’t be packed, everything stops being hideously pink and red, and the candy goes on sale…perfect reasons to celebrate! Plus wolves are cute and fuzzy and cleaning things is always worth celebrating.

Just because my blog is exploring a new schedule does not mean I have forgotten about my beloved What-Cha Wednesdays, they are still kinda happening, just more random and not always on Wednesdays, like today. Plus my stash was running low and I need to stretch it out a bit! Today I am looking at China Yunnan Simao Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea, possbly some of the prettiest leaves, I mean just look at them, they are adorable, all fuzzy and curly. I am such a sucker for Dian Hongs it is ridiculous. The aroma is super sweet, strong notes of cocoa and malt mix with yams, toasted peanuts, a bit of cooked peaches, and a finish of a pepper and resin, a bit like pine sap. The yam note is strong, very starchy blends well with the cocoa and malt.

The saddest part of steeping these golden beauties is watching the fuzz go away, but the color of the liquid makes up for the lack of fuzzy. Woo, the aroma of the wet leaves is intense, not so much sweet, but strong notes of yam and toasted peanuts with malt and cocoa, at the finish is a burst of black pepper and a touch of woodiness. The liquid is very sweet, blending honey, chocolate, dried peaches and a woodiness that vaguely reminds me of bourbon.

This tea starts strong, not a weak first steep here. Smooth in the mouth with a slightly sharp citric note in the texture, but not in the taste. It starts with yams and malt and quickly moves to cocoa and molasses and the finish is a blend of peanuts and raisins. It balances sweetness and richness really well, I was impressed with the oomph this tea started with.

The aroma of the second steep is malty and molasses heavy, with cocoa and that woody bourbon note again, I almost want to get a bourbon barrel and toss this tea in it to see if I can really bring the quality out. Somehow this steep manages to be stronger and richer, but luckily there is no astringency or bite to this tea, it is smooth as silk and heavy with its richness. I feel like sinking when drinking it, this tea makes me melt in my chair just a bit. The taste is sweeter this time around as well, the cocoa has gone straight to chocolate and the yam is more candied. Notes of roasted peanuts and molasses at the finish and just a tiny, tiny, hint of rose in the aftertaste.

Last steep, ok not really, I could pull a few more out of this one, not a ton, it seemed to max out at five but could go for a couple more but only be really light. The aroma for this one is malty and starchy, strong and sweet with undertones of resin and bourbon. The taste is similar to the second, formidable in its intensity of texture and taste but smooth and gentle, I assure you I can make a few off colored jokes here, but I resist. The best part is my notes are a jumbled almost unreadable mess, totally unintelligible to anyone but me, and only barely to me! Strong notes of yams and malt give this tea its start, it is not sweet but starchy and rich. The middle and the end are sweet like chocolate and a touch of peaches with a slight woody finish and a lingering peanut note. I kinda love that peanut note, reminds me a little of boiled peanuts but without the salt, and being Southern I cannot get enough boiled peanuts, ever. As you can tell I really liked this tea, my next What-Cha order will definitely have more than just a sample of snails, I’m getting a big ol bag of this stuff…but like all my other Dian Hongs it will be gone far too quickly.

Blog and photos:

Daylon R Thomas

I might have to get some of that myself. Dian hongs are the best. Emphasis on the period. Too bad I’m a bit past my current budget and have too much tea I’m not a fan off…


seems to be a fascinating tea. and those leaves are really cute!

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