Simao Spring Tips Pure Bud Black Tea of Yunnan

Tea type
Black Tea
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Astringent, Chocolate, Citrus, Honey, Malt, Pastries, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Floral, Spices, Sugarcane
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Sil
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195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 oz / 102 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

A pure bud tea. Tea is picked just a short few days after sprouting and then carefully processed to preserve it’s delicate nature. The tea buds are very small and covered with hairs. The brewed tea is sweet and malty with hints of sugarcane.

An enjoyable tea with complexity and a thick tea soup that fills and soothes the mouth.

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14 Tasting Notes

188 tasting notes

Tiny leaf with a dry aroma of usual malt. Steeped 3gm in 110 yixing the flavors were clean and honest with the prerequisite malt and honey without its sweetness and a slight bitterness at the end. I could taste a hint of Pu Erh and wonder if this leaf is used in Pu Erh production since it is a Simao. I used very short steeps in the beginning which had good mouth feel. It lasted to about 8 brews and then petered out.

As for my taste, not bad for a sample, and it is in the Yunnan vein so it is better than most red teas but its no Qing Pin.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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749 tasting notes

[Autumn 2017 harvest]

The tea has a mild and delicate yet exciting taste. There is a lot going on, even thought malt definitely is the most present in the taste. Chocolate, citrus and spicy notes are very noticeable too though. Generally it is a very sweet affair. In later infusions, the sweetness is more reminiscent of pastries and sweet potatoes.

The aftertaste is protracted and oscillating between sweet and spicy, very enjoyable.

I love the mouthfeel, it is very thick for a black tea. Given that it’s pure bud tea, it also lasts a surprisingly large number of infusions.

Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Citrus, Honey, Malt, Pastries, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

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167 tasting notes

[Spring 2015 picking]

Dry leaf (SWEET, HERBAL, NUT): dark malt, mossy green notes, some red fruit. In preheated vessel – strong nut notes, green herb, blackstrap molasses, beer wort

Smell (SWEET, EARTHY): caramel, sweet potato, malt

Taste (SWEET, EARTHY, NUT, FRUIT): sweet potato, brûléd marshmallows, dry baking spices, light malt and caramel, raw almond, dried date, green stem notes, dark ripe cherry

Two main things with this one: 1) it tastes like sweet potato casserole in a cup, 2) it is very dynamic.

So, regarding point 1 – it is delicious. Great balance of earthy, sweet, dark and light flavors.

Regarding point 2 – every time I sessioned this tea, I got something new out of it. The flavors were constantly evolving – sometimes fruitier, sometimes earthier, sometimes greener, sometimes sweeter. Really a fun tea to have and to look forward to drinking.

I have to admit, I had a period of disinterest with black teas. They always have that one recognizable English breakfast-y sort of thing that takes me back to my bagged tea days. Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say. But after two great experiences just this year, they are really climbing pretty high up on my list. Dynamic and complex, and generally a very affordable brew.

This is the PERFECT November treat.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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13254 tasting notes

spring 2015 version – more to come later but not too shabby. Going to enjoy having this one around

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87 tasting notes

This is for the Spring 2014 flush.
lovely spindly leaves of black and gold that cling together
aromas of dates, earth and malt. Also some sulphur element that I find a lot in purple teas..which I could describe it better than that.
creamy mouth feel.
mildly sweet and earthy with polished astringency

slight bitterness on the finish

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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41 tasting notes

This review is of the 2012 spring harvest, which as of this writing (12 March 2015) is still available on the Yunnan sourcing US site.

I’ve had this tea for over a year, and it seems to be getting better with some age on it. I use a little Yixing which I’ve dedicated to Yunnan black teas. With this much leaf in the pot, short steeps are in order (3/6/9/12/etc. seconds). I normally take it through 15 steeps, with the first 10 being the best but the last 5 are still quite tasty.

The tea starts off with lots of malt and sweetness, morphing into a honey note and finally into a bee pollen and honey sweetness that is just outstanding. Hints of Yunnan spice, sweet citrus and faint tartness appear at times, along with strong floral notes.

This is my benchmark Yunnan black tea for sweetness. I break it out at least once a week, and just placed an order for more. A truly magnificent harvest. Recommended.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Malt, Spices, Sugarcane

190 °F / 87 °C 8 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
Terri HarpLady

hey Bro!
Glad to see you posting again! :)


Thanks! It’s good to be back. I hope this year will be a little less hectic :)

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3294 tasting notes

This was my first session of the day, using 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/30/45/ etc
I warmed up the leaf in the hot little teapot & the aroma was heavenly, immediately conjuring up images of Maltomeal drizzled with a really fragrant honey.
I could breath that in all day. Why do I love that aroma so much? It’s not like I was a real fan of maltomeal…

Anyway, the tea was predictably delicious. The leaves are tiny & tender, & they released their flavors fairly quickly, so that this session peaked out much faster than others, but the cups were rich with malt & honey initially, then a more flavor of earth & leather, with a slight bitterness. Definitely better in the first cups.


Funny how our olfactory receptors work…there’s a bunch of foods I love to smell, but don’t even care to eat.

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I can relate to that. There are even more foods that I absolutely love to smell, but unfortunately cannot eat, no matter how much I want to…sigh…tiny pitty party :(

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257 tasting notes

Origin: Yunnan, China. Early Spring harvest, 2014
Dry Leaf: Cute, tiny, twisted threads that are golden and dark in color and sweet-smelling like brown sugar with malt.
Method: I played with this one a lot before finally switching from a small 3.38 oz gong fu pot to a tokoname kyusu pot that I use for gyokuro. These leaves are so small and delicate that I found it best to brew it like gyokuro to bring out its best. So this is immediate rinses and pours. I used 1 1/2 tsp/2 grams tea in my tiny 2oz tokoname pot.
I brewed it at a low temperature as you would a delicate green tea as well, 170F. These are all very delicate buds that were picked a few short days after sprouting so they do not like heat and sitting in hot water.
Wet Leaf: Still tiny and thin after opening up, all very tiny buds. When I was using my other little gong fu pot, the leaves were escaping and causing uneven brewing by getting into the little pour holes. My tokoname has a fine mesh strainer built in so it was perfect to achieve an even brewing exposure for the tiny leaves.
Liquor: Golden orange color with scents of honey and malt.
Flavor: Lightly and subtly sweet and malty. Very lovely and delicate tea!
Had some Gong Fu style this morning. Good stuff!!!
Gaiwan style this morning!!!!! This is a good method to brew this one. 185F

Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane

170 °F / 76 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

Sounds lovely!

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