Here is another of my somewhat older sipdowns. I think I finished what I had of this tea sometime between June and the start of August. At this point, I can’t really remember as I was plowing through some of the spring 2018 black teas I had in my cupboard at a very rapid clip. Overall, this was a more or less excellent Yunnan black tea. At the time I was drinking it, I remembered greatly enjoying the spring 2017 version Yunnan Sourcing had offered. I’m guessing this is one of their more consistent black teas.
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 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 produced aromas of baked bread, malt, marshmallow, and cinnamon. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, and sweet potato. The first infusion introduced aromas of roasted walnut and hay. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of baked bread, malt, cream, black pepper, eucalyptus, roasted almond, sweet potato, cinnamon, and hay that were balanced by hints of grass, marshmallow, clove, roasted walnut, and caramel. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of apple, eucalyptus, caramel, clove, black pepper, green bell pepper, grass, leather, cedar, and plum. Stronger and more immediately detectable flavors of marshmallow, clove, and caramel appeared in the mouth alongside hints of roasted peanut and new impressions of earth, minerals, red apple, leather, cedar, green bell pepper, and orange zest. There were also some fleeting hints of celery and plum here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, malt, earth, baked bread, sweet potato, and grass that were chased by hints of roasted almond, cream, hay, green bell pepper, marshmallow, plum, and black pepper.
This was a very complex yet smooth Simao black tea with some absolutely delightful spicy and vegetal notes. Some of the aromas and flavors I picked up I tend to associate more with Feng Qing black teas, which was a bit of a shock. Overall, this was a very enjoyable Yunnan black tea. It is likely that fans of such teas would be pleased with it.
Flavors: Almond, Black Pepper, Bread, Caramel, Cedar, Celery, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Earth, Eucalyptus, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Hay, Leather, Malt, Marshmallow, Orange Zest, Peanut, Plum, Red Apple, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut