Review of Imperial Pure Bud Yunnan Black Tea of Simao

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 55 of 593 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOutstanding

Appearance: The dry leaf is intact, curled, and often intertwined with other leaves, making it hard to easily separate. The leaf is pure bud covered in a light golden-orange down that comes off on the fingers when handled without care. Some of the underlying dark-brown leaf is visible closer to the non-terminal end of the bud.

Liquor: Medium-dark orange-brown, somewhat thick, with fine particulates during early steeps due to a proliferation of downy hair on the buds.

Taste: Textured, slightly fruity, sugar cane-like flavor that clings delicately to the palate, especially during the first four steeps, which showcase the soupy, malted flavor common to this type of Yunnan red.

Smell: Rich, smooth, malty aroma.

Steeping parameters: Versatile, but best in a small 80 mL Yixing pot, starting at around 90°C and increasing in temperature with further steeps. When steeped this way, up to 10 steeps are possible. Depending on the amount of tea used, more than quick initial steeps can make the tea too strong. Water can be added around five times to a 120 mL porcelain gaiwan as long as some tea is kept in the bottom third of the vessel. This tea is also good grandfather style in a chawan, tall glass, or thermos, though care should be taken to ensure a smaller amount of tea is used to avoid an overly strong steep.

Overall, this is an excellent premium-quality tea for the price that far exceeds the flavor profiles of many much more expensive teas from the region.

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