Simao Summit

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaBrat
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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  • “I just got my new order from Mandala Tea. I must admit I was in a panic thinking the bamboo raw pu-erhs would be gone soon. But I also had to get some other stuff. :) Garrett was very nice, shipped...” Read full tasting note

From Mandala Tea

We are excited to offer this expertly crafted black tea from high atop Wuliang Mountain in Simao. This tea is at once brisk and sweet, eye-opening and soothing at the same time!

Cast your eyes upon the dry leaf and notice all of the downy tips. If this were a green tea, we would call this “mao feng” which translates to “downy tip”. These young buds, once fermented, are what give the leaf a golden appearance and lend a sweetness to the slight astringency of the more mature, darker leaves.

Sure to please the discerning lover of black tea while prompting the newcomer to journey further into tea.

In experimenting with this tea, we find it well-suited to gong fu style brewing, but find our brewing guidelines below to also show the true depth of character this tea possesses.

Customers also report enjoying this with a splash of milk and sugar.

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1 Tasting Note

2816 tasting notes

I just got my new order from Mandala Tea. I must admit I was in a panic thinking the bamboo raw pu-erhs would be gone soon. But I also had to get some other stuff. :) Garrett was very nice, shipped my order promptly, included a nice note and samples. Terrific customer service from these people, I can tell you!

First steep: 2 minutes.
This is what the Chinese would call a red tea and my tea liquor is a beautiful, dark reddish color. The flavor coming from this is very molasses-y and chocolate-y and some malt. I was thinking it would be similar to a golden monkey, perhaps. But it is different.

I like the slight astringency to this and it also seems to have a bit more “heft” and depth than some Chinese red teas I have had. I could definitely see craving this in the morning, but it also makes a nice after lunch tea. There is a bit of sweetness in the tea liquor, but it isn’t a precious kind of sweet. It’s more a dark chocolate kind of sweet.

When I first steeped this up I was thinking ho, hum, another sweet Chinese red tea. I like them but they all start tasting the same after a while. Then I crave the richness of something like a Ceylon. This sort of brings both worlds together for me and melds them into a super tasty, happy tea infusion.

Second Steep: Five glorious minutes.
Not as hefty as the first steep but still full of flavor. I am picking up on the slight briskness a little bit more. Still lots of molasses but perhaps a bit of spice as well. Clearly I need to gong fu this one to pick up on more subtle flavor changes. But this has been quite an enjoyable and even a bit surprising afternoon cuppa.

Sometimes I wonder if I give too many teas high ratings? But my ratings are subjective and are based on my enjoyment of the tea. As you may have noticed, I really like tea! :)

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Zero “likes” then all of the sudden two. You beat me to it again KS! :))

Amy how much leaf did you use? I find that for me, most teas can start to taste the same if you drink them enuff. I mix it up I find that if I have heavier foods some greens and Darjeelings aren’t as good after the meal. I think a nice black (red) tea like this can be the best thing after a meal.


This sounds much like the Shang tea I reviewed this morning! YUM Mandala is another place I have wanted to order from!


@ Azzrian – it has similar flavors to the Shang tea but is not as sweet and has a bit more heft
@Scott – I used about 2 tsp. of leaf. And yeah I have to mix things up a lot or I do get bored very easily (short attention span??)


Hehehehe…….Was 2 tsp for your 12 oz?? mug??

Scott B

Amy-I wonder if I keep my reviews too clumped together. And I am finding it quite difficult to hand out a 90 rating myself.


2 tsp for around 10 ounces. I tend to use more leaf than most people I think.


Bummer my free shipping code is not working – will wait till Im not so tea cash poor lol


@Scott B- but what about Candy Cane Lane? heh heh!

Scott B

@AmyYep, I think it’s the only one-and I did it from memory.

@Azzrian – If you contact the company and tell them your free shipping code does not work, they might give you a new code. Worked for me once-albeit with a different company


Give the ratings you want to. Afterall, who’s grading you?




Your rating system is fine. I do it the same way you do, and base the rating on my subjective experience of it on that particular day. I feel I can be more honest that way. For the same reason I’m also not afraid to use the lower end of the scale, although I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to avoid it. But if my subjective opinion and experience with something everybody else is praising to sky only really feels like 20 points to me, then 20 points it gets. As long as you feel like you’re being honest it’s totally fine whichever way you do it. :)


@Angrboda – thanks. :) Most of the time any plain tea that comes from a quality source is bound to make me happy. When I give out bad ratings it’s usually due to a lousy flavored tea.


Tea – one of the things I tell my customers and tea class attendees is this: One can weigh out their tea to the gram, have water that they draw from the same source, at the precise same temp as the day before, using the exact same tea implements and steeping times and it can be sometimes be an entirely different tea experience. Wild. And yet, not so wild, given that the energy of the day is different, the atmosphere is different, WE are different. I love tea. I love the various experiences that one single tea can bring me. It helps to deepen my awareness of my world, of myself, of others and gets me to stop judging it all.


Couldn’t agree more Amy-lousy flavored tea INDEED.

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