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This tea is wild alright – visually It looks like someone raked their tea lawn and put the leaves in a bag. The leaves themselves are actually purple too. How cool is that?

The sparse nature of the wild “lawn clipping” style leaves and deceptively faint aroma of the dry leaf brews a shockingly full bodied cup of tea with a range of taste somewhere between dry, herbaceous chinese green and smokey ripe pu’er. Its quite remarkable, this tea borrows from both sides of the spectrum while standing distinctly on its own. This was my first ever Mao Cha style tea… up to this point I have never tasted anything quite like it.

The energy of Wild Monk is penetrating, as is the flavor if left to brew for too long. I would suggest shorter steepings around a minute. The first few brews tend to be dominated by hay and a well balanced meditative smokiness while the later brews bring a bit of citrus and sweet shellfish to the mix.

Main notes to my palate are:

Hay
Smoke
Malty/Citrus
Shellfish (mild)
Sweet (mild)

While not a daily drinker for me, it is an enjoyable cup of tea and its nice to know I have it when i’m in the mood for something off the path of conventional flavors. Overall i’m rating this tea highly because it is so unique, wonderfully complex and for lack of a a more tactful word, powerful.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Garret

I really enjoyed reading your review, as did my fellow biz owners here at Mandala Tea. Thank you for the writing, my friend. The Wild Monk was one of the teas that I tasted directly from the grower and kept coming back to for days, even though I had many teas at my disposal. It’s neat to see how the tea has changed over the months since I purchased it and I really look forward to tasting the changes within the cakes of it that I had pressed.

Wishing you all the joy you can stand!

Sixie

Thanks Garret, very cool of you to respond and I really enjoyed your hand written note (its taped to the inside of my tea cabinet) and extra pu’er samples in my last order. I have nothing but great things to say about Mandala teas! You’re becoming somewhat of a steepster celebrity if I say so myself. Keep up the great work :)

After writing this review, I spent a good chunk of time dedicating myself to more Wild Monk. I experimented with different brew times and have settled on a regiment of 1-1.5 minute brews as my favorite. This tea is remarkable in that you can get so many vastly different flavors and intensities with relatively little manipulation of temperature and brew time. After reading some of your comments on other Wild Monk reviews, I agree that this tea takes on a bit of a trippy note, especially with the stronger brews. I have a penchant for the bizarre and unique and this tea is right up my alley.

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Garret

I really enjoyed reading your review, as did my fellow biz owners here at Mandala Tea. Thank you for the writing, my friend. The Wild Monk was one of the teas that I tasted directly from the grower and kept coming back to for days, even though I had many teas at my disposal. It’s neat to see how the tea has changed over the months since I purchased it and I really look forward to tasting the changes within the cakes of it that I had pressed.

Wishing you all the joy you can stand!

Sixie

Thanks Garret, very cool of you to respond and I really enjoyed your hand written note (its taped to the inside of my tea cabinet) and extra pu’er samples in my last order. I have nothing but great things to say about Mandala teas! You’re becoming somewhat of a steepster celebrity if I say so myself. Keep up the great work :)

After writing this review, I spent a good chunk of time dedicating myself to more Wild Monk. I experimented with different brew times and have settled on a regiment of 1-1.5 minute brews as my favorite. This tea is remarkable in that you can get so many vastly different flavors and intensities with relatively little manipulation of temperature and brew time. After reading some of your comments on other Wild Monk reviews, I agree that this tea takes on a bit of a trippy note, especially with the stronger brews. I have a penchant for the bizarre and unique and this tea is right up my alley.

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