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 It is an ancient Roman festival held roughly February 13-15 celebrating things totally outdated, like cleansing and fertility!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: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/02/what-cha-china-yunnan-simao-pure-bud.html