But I don’t want to write the first tasting note on this tea. This note is more my impressions for me. Please don’t judge totally on what I have to say.
My first problem is I don’t always read steeping instruction – I think they are more guidelines and I don’t always follow them. I didn’t rinse this enough. The official instructions say THREE 10 sec rinses. I only rinsed once – read the instructions later. I don’t think the leaves were open enough on my first infusion because of that.
Anyway, taking all that into consideration, this is still not quite what I was expecting. Grace said that Noble Mark was “gentlemanly” (I LOVE that line, had to steal it). If Noble Mark is gentlemanly, this is feminine. Almost too gentle for my tastes.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is a high quality pu’erh. Like all Mandala pu’erh’s it’s nice and smooth and easy to drink. No icky at all. I would prefer it to be more bold. I don’t need it to kick me in the face, but a little nudge would be nice.
I’m not going to number rate this. Next time will be more careful with steeping instructions, and see if that gives it more pow. I might have underleafed it a bit too.
I’m sorry Old Nugget, I didn’t treat you right…..We will be friends yet, I’m sure of it.

JustJames

lol, this was an awesome note, dexter!

Dexter

LOL, I wish there were a way of saving tasting notes for “private” viewing before making them public. I LOVE Mandala teas, and I know they can’t ALL be my favorite. I think I can make this better with more leaf, more rinse, and longer steep times. For my personal tastes this needs more flavor. If you want a nice gentle feminine pu’erh, then this would be perfect.

graceatblb

I have a 1oz sample of this one. Kind of happy to hear that it’s a gentler tea than I thought. I had the 05 version and it was like a swift kick in the pants. If you want a bolder version of this one…that’s it :) If this one is feminine that one is an ex-football player with unfulfilled dreams.

JustJames

i really love following the comment threads, =0)

Dexter

LOL Me too, you can learn a ton from the comments. I love this site. I didn’t even really understand what pu’erh was until I stumbled into this site. I certainly wouldn’t be drinking straight pu’erh of this quality if it weren’t for this wonderful community. (I really need to update my profile too….)

Dexter

Hmmmmm ex-football player with unfulfilled dreams….. that might be a little too aggressive for me, but maybe not. I like bold flavors, I just don’t like the icky bold flavors.

Bonnie

I’ve read that some people don’t even drink the first three infusions at all, sometimes prefer only the 5th onward. As for me, a 20 second rinse when I have no instructions and I poke a hard puerh with my pick. I’ve seen pro’s do it so I don’t feel bad about it. Why wait? Get the tea party going! Puerh is pretty forgiving.

graceatblb

It’s not icky at all…well, the first couple of steeps were challenging but after that it was all niceness.

Dexter

Bonnie, like I said, I’m pretty non conformist when it comes to the “rules” about steep parameters. To each their own, and if you like your tea then you steeped it properly. At least that’s my motto. This one I don’t think I steeped properly. Will play with it and see if I can get it more to my liking. Poking a hard puerh with a pick is a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that, will give it a try. :))

Dexter

Grace, LOL I didn’t need to know that. I would really like it if it’s BOLD without being icky. Add it to the wish list. I just placed a Mandala order today….. Need to wait before ordering more. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself).

graceatblb

Tee hee. Sorry :)

That’s the cycle I go though with Mandala. No. Nope. I will not order more. Well…maybe a cake or twenty. I think it may be time to parental block the site…Nah.

Dexter

I only ordered ONE cake (250g Noble Mark), 2 oz Black Pearl (rumor has it there isn’t much of it left), 1 oz Milk Oolong (had to try this one before I totally give up on green oolongs) and a Yixing teapot. I thought I showed great restraint. (What that really means is that there are still several on my wish list).

graceatblb

I was good this time too. Only one cake—the Phatty Cake Sequel. Last time, however, very very bad.

Milk Oolong…how I miss it. It’s the only green oolong I can tolerate. I did just buy some of the Alishan with my last order.

I can honestly say with plenty of shame that most of Mandala is my wishlist. Except for the white teas. Never really got into that.

Dexter

I agree, not really into whites or greens for that matter. Just starting to explore blacks – still have lots to learn about them. Like the roasted oolongs more than the greens….so only about half the Mandala site is on my wish list. It’s a dangerous place. I don’t want to talk about tea ware, I desperately want/need better tea ware. I see several more orders in my future…

graceatblb

Don’t even get me started on tea ware. I found a whole box of antique tea pots from random places in my Grandma’s house and I’m still considering buying a yixing teapot.

Terri HarpLady

I love you guys :)

Garret

Hi! thanks for writing that up, my friend!! Yes… this 2009 tea nugget is definitely milder than the 2005 we have in. It is a favorite of some and not for others :) The 3 rinses for old tea nugget are important as these are some very tightly compressed gems we are talking about. Not only do we need to really prime the leaf, the rinses are also helping to heat the brewing vessel up as this tea needs the hottest water possible.

When I was in China last April, I was working at sourcing more old tea nugget and did not have a whole lot of success finding something that compared to the 2005. I mos def recommend trying the 2005 stuff. We have just a few kg’s left and one customer who buys it 8 ounces every time she orders. I hope to find something as good to replace it with.

In regard to ripe pu’er, in general, many drinkers are looking to have a milder cup and this one works really well for them, with some people sipping this from their glass tea thermos, too. Most of the time, I like bolder flavors, darker color when it comes to my ripe pu’er. But ain’t it swell that we all have different taste? And ain’t it swell, too, that our tastes can change?

Life is grand. Tea it up, Steepster pals!!!

And again, wow, on the wonderful compliments about our tea biz. Golly, y’all know how to make a fella blush!

graceatblb

I think I may have to brew up some of this tonight. Most of the time, I like a good kick in the head from tea but today I think I want something gentler.

Garret-I just sent you an email…Sometimes I worry about the oddest things :)

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JustJames

lol, this was an awesome note, dexter!

Dexter

LOL, I wish there were a way of saving tasting notes for “private” viewing before making them public. I LOVE Mandala teas, and I know they can’t ALL be my favorite. I think I can make this better with more leaf, more rinse, and longer steep times. For my personal tastes this needs more flavor. If you want a nice gentle feminine pu’erh, then this would be perfect.

graceatblb

I have a 1oz sample of this one. Kind of happy to hear that it’s a gentler tea than I thought. I had the 05 version and it was like a swift kick in the pants. If you want a bolder version of this one…that’s it :) If this one is feminine that one is an ex-football player with unfulfilled dreams.

JustJames

i really love following the comment threads, =0)

Dexter

LOL Me too, you can learn a ton from the comments. I love this site. I didn’t even really understand what pu’erh was until I stumbled into this site. I certainly wouldn’t be drinking straight pu’erh of this quality if it weren’t for this wonderful community. (I really need to update my profile too….)

Dexter

Hmmmmm ex-football player with unfulfilled dreams….. that might be a little too aggressive for me, but maybe not. I like bold flavors, I just don’t like the icky bold flavors.

Bonnie

I’ve read that some people don’t even drink the first three infusions at all, sometimes prefer only the 5th onward. As for me, a 20 second rinse when I have no instructions and I poke a hard puerh with my pick. I’ve seen pro’s do it so I don’t feel bad about it. Why wait? Get the tea party going! Puerh is pretty forgiving.

graceatblb

It’s not icky at all…well, the first couple of steeps were challenging but after that it was all niceness.

Dexter

Bonnie, like I said, I’m pretty non conformist when it comes to the “rules” about steep parameters. To each their own, and if you like your tea then you steeped it properly. At least that’s my motto. This one I don’t think I steeped properly. Will play with it and see if I can get it more to my liking. Poking a hard puerh with a pick is a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that, will give it a try. :))

Dexter

Grace, LOL I didn’t need to know that. I would really like it if it’s BOLD without being icky. Add it to the wish list. I just placed a Mandala order today….. Need to wait before ordering more. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself).

graceatblb

Tee hee. Sorry :)

That’s the cycle I go though with Mandala. No. Nope. I will not order more. Well…maybe a cake or twenty. I think it may be time to parental block the site…Nah.

Dexter

I only ordered ONE cake (250g Noble Mark), 2 oz Black Pearl (rumor has it there isn’t much of it left), 1 oz Milk Oolong (had to try this one before I totally give up on green oolongs) and a Yixing teapot. I thought I showed great restraint. (What that really means is that there are still several on my wish list).

graceatblb

I was good this time too. Only one cake—the Phatty Cake Sequel. Last time, however, very very bad.

Milk Oolong…how I miss it. It’s the only green oolong I can tolerate. I did just buy some of the Alishan with my last order.

I can honestly say with plenty of shame that most of Mandala is my wishlist. Except for the white teas. Never really got into that.

Dexter

I agree, not really into whites or greens for that matter. Just starting to explore blacks – still have lots to learn about them. Like the roasted oolongs more than the greens….so only about half the Mandala site is on my wish list. It’s a dangerous place. I don’t want to talk about tea ware, I desperately want/need better tea ware. I see several more orders in my future…

graceatblb

Don’t even get me started on tea ware. I found a whole box of antique tea pots from random places in my Grandma’s house and I’m still considering buying a yixing teapot.

Terri HarpLady

I love you guys :)

Garret

Hi! thanks for writing that up, my friend!! Yes… this 2009 tea nugget is definitely milder than the 2005 we have in. It is a favorite of some and not for others :) The 3 rinses for old tea nugget are important as these are some very tightly compressed gems we are talking about. Not only do we need to really prime the leaf, the rinses are also helping to heat the brewing vessel up as this tea needs the hottest water possible.

When I was in China last April, I was working at sourcing more old tea nugget and did not have a whole lot of success finding something that compared to the 2005. I mos def recommend trying the 2005 stuff. We have just a few kg’s left and one customer who buys it 8 ounces every time she orders. I hope to find something as good to replace it with.

In regard to ripe pu’er, in general, many drinkers are looking to have a milder cup and this one works really well for them, with some people sipping this from their glass tea thermos, too. Most of the time, I like bolder flavors, darker color when it comes to my ripe pu’er. But ain’t it swell that we all have different taste? And ain’t it swell, too, that our tastes can change?

Life is grand. Tea it up, Steepster pals!!!

And again, wow, on the wonderful compliments about our tea biz. Golly, y’all know how to make a fella blush!

graceatblb

I think I may have to brew up some of this tonight. Most of the time, I like a good kick in the head from tea but today I think I want something gentler.

Garret-I just sent you an email…Sometimes I worry about the oddest things :)

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Bio

C.S. Lewis – “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

I needed to update my profile. I joined Steepster 03Mar13. I am just amazed at how much my tastes have changed since then.
When I discovered loose leaf tea about a year and half ago, I didn’t know anything other than my local Davids and Teavana/Teaopia. Stumbling onto Steepster CHANGED EVERYTHING.
Hello, my name is Dex I’m a tea addict.
I’ve been through the “I need to try every single tea out there” phase. I really hope the worst of that has passed. I’ve learned enough to know that I only need to try HALF of all the teas out there. LOL
When I started this journey, I was all about the flavored rooibos and fruity tisanes. Don’t get me wrong there is still room for dessert (chocolate/caramel/nutty) Rooibos teas in my cupboard and I still do enjoy them, BUT I am quickly learning to appreciate the some of the straight teas of the world.
Big bold (but not icky)pu’erh is suddenly my favorite, followed by woody/roasted oolongs. I’m just starting to explore straight black teas, and have found some that I really like.
Generally speaking I’m not into greens at all, only like the occasional green oolong, and white teas are just too mild for my tastes (unless they are fruit flavored). I still enjoy really good fruit tisanes, but am now cold steeping them.
I don’t like floral/herbal blends, and mint anything is not on my preferred list.
I am still exploring new teas, adapting to my changing tastes, understanding more every day how little I really know about tea. Ultimately I would love to find approximately 50 teas that I just “can’t live without” and always have them in my cupboard. That might not be practical, but that what I’m searching for. It’s going to be a fun journey.

All in all, I love this site. I’ve met some wonderful people, and have gotten to try some amazing teas because of them. It really restores your faith in humanity when you get a note saying “oh by the way I sent you some tea”. Wonderful, generous, people here.

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Manitoba Canada

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