279 Tasting Notes


This cake is 100% Ban Zhang Wild Ancient Arbor material. Leaves seem to be complete – undamaged during gathering and processing. Very clear pale yellow tea liquor. Nice leaf; medium compression but quite easy to pick. The tea offers a nice bitterness followed by a quick, pleasing sweetness. Plenty of energy in this one. The cake may seem pricey but actually a bargain given the difficulty of finding 100% high quality LBZ material with a few years of aging.

Note: If interested in this same high quality Lao Ban Zhang material at a much lower cost, Yunnan Sourcing has 25g samples of this 2006 leaf or 100g bricks using 100% 2007 LBZ material.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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A truly exceptional tea! Traditionally processed; sun-dried early spring tea leaf from very old Yiwu trees; manual stone pressing. A beautiful cake to look at with nice whole leaves and light compression making it very easy to pick apart. Honey-yellow tea soup; sweet and buttery flavor; sweet aftertaste. No astringency and no bitterness at all. Resteeped seven times and it’s still going strong! A valued gem in my puerh tea cake cabinet.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

One can never have too many gems in their pu’er tea cake cabinet. Great review!


I got this cake recently and have yet to taste!


SWApilot – yes to finding as many “gems” as possible!!
Cwyn – look forward to hearing your thoughts; hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
279 tasting notes

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A fine example of good YiWu tea leaves and another winning selection from White 2 Tea. Nice whole leaf; clear pale yellow tea liquor; very mellow and easy to drink. This is a gentle tea – nothing flashy or bold; no bitterness; no astringency. I think I prefer the 2011 Taochaju Yiwu Guyun (also offered by Paul at White 2 Tea) but this one is a bit cheaper and definitely a tea to purchase and enjoy.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.

Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. Surprised to learn what a passion I have developed for all things tea related.

I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Started with flavored teas but moved quickly into unflavored blacks and puerhs. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging. My cold brews for iced tea tend to be a fruity green, white or rooibos but every once in awhile I’ll chill an oolong or puerh.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions. My tea notes are now simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are useful to me and if they happen to be helpful to someone else that is good.


North Carolina

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