2859 Tasting Notes

First cup of the day, trying to wake up. I have a bit of a headache & will have to wear sunglasses, as I’m having the photo sensitivity problem this morning. Otherwise I’m good! I’m relaxing in my PJs with this tea, listening to Tony play some Blues guitar. What could be better, right? He recently added a 3 string cigar box guitar to his collections, & although he doesn’t like performing in public, & just likes to sit around playing for his own (& my) enjoyment, he’s a damn good slide player. I did get him to play a couple tunes with me one year at my birthday gig. Maybe I can talk him into playing some blues with me at this year’s birthday gig (which I’ve been working on setting up this week).

This tea is delicious, a sweeter Assam, not so bold, but rich in the mid-range. I just realized I only steeped 3 min, & the suggestion is 3.5, so maybe later I’ll drink another cup & give it a little longer.
For now, time to put some clothes on & go to breakfast.

Butiki Teas

Feel better! :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! Breakfast & tea always help tremendously!

Butiki Teas

They really do. :)


I also had a headache this morning. Normally, a nice straight, strong black is my remedy. Today it was a mix of Saigon Chai and Golden Phoenix pu erh. Did the trick since I wanted the spice for the sinus help and ginger for the tummy.

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Enjoying a cup of this before I actually start moving towards getting ready to go. I went with a Tb this time, I think I gave it 4 minutes, & it’s a nice rich & dark cup, not particularly bold, but nicely full mouthed & malty.

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I’ve had students all morning, & have to get ready to go play a wedding shortly. I wish I had more to say about this tea. I drank it during the morning, & I enjoyed it. The dry leaf smelled like dried fruit, at least I remember that, right?

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“What a lovely way to start my day! Thank you for bringing me a cup of this, little terri” Ms Theresa said, in an unually good mood.

Little terri just smiled. And sipped. She knows a good thing.


Glad to see the two of you getting along so nicely ;)

Terri HarpLady

Little terri is just trying to butter her up, lol. We saw an olive tree (yes, the kind the grows real olives that you can cure & eat), & it’s an adorable dwarf that will be perfect with the dwarf kumquat, meyer lemon, & key lime trees that we already have in our collection. Hopefully I can fit it into my sunroom, because after basking in the glory of summer, they all come in for the winter, & it is starting to get a little crowded back there. I also want a ‘tea’ tree, because wouldn’t it be fun to grow your own real tea? I already have a bunch of tisanes in the yard, why not a little tea tree too? I love my little dwarf trees! I ate the last ripe kumquat yesterday, but there will be a bunch of them ripening right around the holidaze, along with the lemons. I have TOO many key limes, I need to start using them more often because that tree blooms like crazy (& has terrible thorns). So, yeah, we’re buttering her up so we can buy that olive tree.

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I made a cup of this, with a little maple syrup, & brought it with me to my gig today. I love the combination of smoke, ginger, & maple. Tasty!


Sounds really good!!


I love the tea’s name!

Terri HarpLady

Me too! I just looked on their site, & they don’t sell it by the tin, as they do with their other teas, but I’ll probably buy more of it at some point, I think.


did i try this one?

Terri HarpLady

Nope! You & Cavo got a bunch of other samples, & I got this & the coconut milky oolong, & maybe one other…I’ll have to look through my notes! I’ll have to send you the last cup, to see if you like it. :) (tossing it in your box)

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
2859 tasting notes

I’m backtracking. After breakfast my day got busy. First there were a few students, & then this evening I played a 3 hour gig at a retirement home.
Somewhere in between those 2 things, I enjoyed a lovely cup of this sweet tea. I wish I had more to say, but I have written several reviews regarding this tea already, so that’s it for now.

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Hmmm…for some reason this tea didn’t come out quite as expected…
It seemed like the time went off kind of quickly, so I put the brew basket back in the cup for a few more minutes, and yes, that’s better. That’s more like what I was expecting! Bold, tangy, bright, & a little smoke. Much much better.

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Hey Sil, did your TTC order come yet? I think you’re gonna love the samples I’ll be sending you from mine, because I think I’m gonna love them! Since we love most of the same teas…well, except for that Jin Jun Mei thing…& the occasional floral…heh… ;)

So this was my first tea of the day, & I want to thank my tea sister Sil for turning me on to this company. It was fun going a little nuts during their recent sale, but I didn’t really go any more nuts than I usually do. I’m really looking forward to trying some of the sample sized I bought, & I got enough of this lovely black tea to enjoy for a little while. It’s a very sweet & fruity tea, perhaps not as bold as some of the teas I love, but unique & tasty in it’s own right.
I steeped 1 Tbls in my mug for 4 minutes, resteeped for 6. The resteep is, or course, not as exciting as the original cup, but still flavorful in it’s own way. To this tea I say, “Welcome to my collection!”


no. no order yet sigh

Terri HarpLady

OK, I’ll try not to rub it in too much. :)

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I’ve been drinking multiple steepings of this Dancong since about 4:00, alongside the Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, to see if I can really tell a difference. I can!

I used the same steeping parameters with both, 4G in Gaiwan, rinse, then 2 sec for the first 3 steeps, adding 2 seconds per steep.

To me, this one smelled like ripe cherries, tart apples, flowers, & sweet incense.
The other one smelled of tart pink grapefruit, apricot, & a thicker incense.

Both teas were sweet, & delicious. I found this one to be a little more refined, in that the the floral & incense aromas were very delicate, but amazingly heady, & the cup was sweeter in general. The other tea had a stronger & denser incense to it overall, with a red grapefruit mouthfeel early on.

Quite honestly, I think they both have more steeps left in them, & I may try refreshing them tomorrow with a quick rinse, & then go for a few more cups!

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I’m having a ‘tea comparison’ day. This morning it was Keemuns, this afternoon it’s been Jin Jun Mei. I have 2, but I’m only actually writing a review about this one. The other way (which will remain nameless) is there for me to have a way to see how this Jin Jun Mei stands.

Both teas were steeped identically, with equal amounts of tea @ 1min, 2min, 3min. Then I sat & sipped them side by side to see how they differed. The ‘other’ Jin jun mei was & is delicious, just for the record, with a thick feel & flavors of honey, malt, & butter, liked butter & honey on toast. There’s also some roasted sweet potato in there.

Wang Yanxin’s Jin Jun Mei is perhaps not as malty/toasty, but sweeter, without a doubt, & with a chocolate taste to it as well. It also presents as a more refined cup, although I’m having trouble defining exactly what I mean by that.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed them both, & on any given day would be very happy with either one. I have just enough of this one to drink it one more time, & I have some other Jin Jun Mei’s coming, so I may do a Jin Jun Mei Marathon at so point in the future, LOL.


Now I’m curious what the other one is! I loved the Wang Yanxin one. It was the first jin jun mei I’d had. I’ve had one more since and it didn’t live up.

Terri HarpLady

I compared it to the yunnan sourcing, "Spring 2013 Premium grade Jin Jun Mei. I’ll send you samples of all my Jin Jun Mei’s when the box comes around, if you want. Just for fun!

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I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!


St. Louis, MO



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