114 Tasting Notes
Sample from an order from who-knows-when. I’m not very good at keeping track of samples— they just sort of turn up in my tea trunk when I’m not expecting it.
Just on my first steep (about 30 seconds), I swear I can taste banana bread with a hint of dark chocolate chips. Glancing through others’ notes, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned anything about bananas, so I’m a bit baffled as to where that came from.
I have no idea what’s going on with my tongue, but I’m definitely enjoying this shu so far!
… Oh dear.
I may have to place yet another order with Mandala within the next few weeks. Preferably after I move in to my apartment for the upcoming semester.
Got a 10g sample of this with— actually, I have no idea which order this came with. One of the three I placed this month (whoops, sorry wallet).
Even though I’ve been slowly accumulating a small quantity of pu’er cakes over the past year and a half or so, I’m still very, very new to pu’ers, especially shengs (I’m a bit better with shus since I started exploring those first).
Anyway, I started steeping this sample early this morning, not long after I woke up. Two quick 5-10 second rinses, which gave rise to a lovely leathery aroma. First few 10-second steeps were leathery and smoky with a mildly astringent bite. The leather and smoke eventually faded and gave way to a succulent, peach-like flavour. The astringency has toned down a little bit, but it’s definitely still apparent. I’m currently on I-don’t-know-what-number-but-it’s-lasted-me-all-day steep and I accidentally left it sitting for about an hour, so it’s now at room temperature. I’m definitely getting a mouthwatering stone-fruit sweet/tartness after each sip that I hadn’t noticed earlier. Wow.
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for the generous samples!
I could smell the dry leaf from the moment I opened the sample pouch. A savoury, roast-y aroma.
Steeped, the aroma becomes a bit more vegetal. The taste is quite light, still sort of savoury with a hint of nuttiness and to my surprise, a slight hint of sweetness. There’s a lightly astringent finish.
I usually don’t drink green teas (longjing being an exception), but I could see myself drinking more of this!
Whoa. Has it really been over a month since my last note? Doesn’t feel like that long ago.
Just came home from some travelling— took a short-term May abroad course about bioethics in the Netherlands for a few weeks, then went off to London on my own for another week or so. It was a wonderful experience. The history of the Netherlands and the influences it’s had on Dutch culture (a unique blend of individualism balanced with cooperation that ties in with a general theme of tolerance) is fascinating. The food was delicious, too (I fell in love with poffertjes, stroopwafels, and various rijsttafel dishes that I don’t know the names of). I’d love to go back and live there for an extended period of time, to be honest (studying bioethics there would be great).
London was just amazing. Words cannot describe how excited and stunned I was to be in the city, since there is so much history there (and just in the country in general). It’s also a really expensive city… think NYC prices numerically, then double it because of the GBP to USD conversion rate. Thank goodness for hostels (though I may try couchsurfing or AirBnB next time).
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pick up any teas this trip (I was trying to fly hand luggage only and the cheeses I got from Gouda took up a lot of space). But I really hope to return in the future, because there are so many more museums I’d like to visit, and the rest of England and other countries of the UK as well!
Anyway, that long note was basically just to say that my status with this tea is almost a sipdown, and it’s definitely going on my repurchase list once I’m out. It’s smooth, malty, and a strong tea that isn’t at all a “yell-in-your-face” strong, but more of a firm shake of the shoulder, “hey, time to get up and meet the day” strong.
I love how the subtle pine blends in beautifully with the buttery green tea base and scent of jasmine. I think I’ve mentioned before that I generally dislike jasmine because I often find it overwhelming for me, but I’m really glad I gave this a try because everything is wonderfully blended.
This stuff is unbelievable. I got a sample of it from a Mandala order I placed a while back. Finally thought I’d try it out yesterday evening.
I have one fine mesh tea strainer that I’ve been using on an almost daily basis for the past three or four years. While I wash it regularly, over time it still accumulated a brownish tea-stain patina and while baking powder soaks helped get rid of some of it, it never completely went away.
Then I stuck the strainer in the Smart Soak for about thirty minutes.
The strainer looks brand-new. All those years of tea stains, gone. I’d forgotten how silvery the strainer looked originally.
I’m floored by how effective this stuff is.