This may well be my first Mandala tea, so I wanted to go big with the first try.
This is one multi-faced tea. I’m only on steep one, and already I can tell this will be a nuanced experience with each sip. Almost all of my sips are dark cocoa, which is interesting because I just had some 90% dark chocolate, and both the mouthfeel and taste are almost identical. It kind of reminds me of the texture of coffee, although it’s been so many years since I’ve had anything even remotely coffee-like (if I do drink it, it’s always espresso-based, which is a very different experience for me than drip). Regardless, this is thick in flavor, rich in taste, nuanced and multi-faceted. I look forward to many more steeps, to see how it evolves.
EDIT: Okay, so how do I do re-steeps? New tasting notes? It is a new cup of tea. And yet… same leaf.
Steep 2: 9 minutes, only because I forgot about it. A bit more cocoa, something sweet as well, really sweet. Surprisingly sweet. I want to say caramel, but it’s thinner and more candy-sweet.
Steep 3: 19 minutes, again because I forgot about it. Really thin now, which always ‘tastes’ odd to me in a pu-erh. Cocoa notes are all gone, and now it’s more earthy and sweet.