3071 Tasting Notes

drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
3071 tasting notes

Yeah Baby!
We just had an awesome brunch, which I will probably blog about later: gluten free almond flour peach coffeecake (to die for), homemade sausage patties (I have mastered the art), & eggs.
I wanted something bold, & I got it!
I went for the full blown, “surrender to the dark side” 7 minute steep, & OMG, what a great contrast to the lightly sweet coffee cake, the tngy spicy sausage patties, & the buttery eggs! The sense of satisfaction I got from this cup reminds me of my old coffee drinking days: bold, rich, deep, dark (can a tea GET any darker?). It’s gourmet earthy chocolate with a hint of spice.
May the force be with you!

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

holy cow 7 minute steep!

Terri HarpLady

I just resteeped for another 7, & it was still a nice cup.
I’ve tried it with short steeps, a 5 min, & now 7. I enjoyed them all! :)

Bonnie

The tea judges steep long like this for all tea, then later…they might taste at a lighter strength. We’ve been doing this with new tea samples at Happy Luckys because the World Tea Expo classes taste that style. I personally like a longer steep around the third round too!

Garret

Yes! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

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Tony bought this awhile back when he placed an order for his beloved Earl Grey, thinking I’d like it, since I love black tea. It’s ok. I have drank a cup once in awhile, just to avoid hurting his feelings mainly.
Now it’s a sipdown!

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Sil & I have split several tea orders over the last several months, & I think the order from Taiwan Tea Crafts might be one of my favorites.
First off, the website is beautifully designed! You can tell a lot of time & care went into it, & as a person who designs her own website…cough…ahem…currently a cobweb site, I appreciate that.
Second, I love the colorful packaging!
And finally, & of course most importantly, the teas are tasty! I haven’t had a chance to try all of them yet, but Ive enjoyed the ones I have tried, especially this one.
This tea has a much different profile than I initially expected. The leaves are very dark, & resemble Stacy’s premium Taiwanese Assam, only not as long & wild looking. Of course, the taste is completely different!
These leaves steep into a nice dark cup, very different from any of my other Assams. A very full & smooth mouth with a tongue tingle, a buttered slice of honey wheat toast aroma, which transforms halfway down the cup to malto meal drizzled with butter & honey. The flavor moves around a bit too. This cup started out a little grapey, then as it cooled a little it made me think of those candied fruit slices dipped in dark chocolate, & now at the end it’s a bowl of malto meal with a spoon of an unidentifiable jam & a sprinkle of dark chocolate powder. There is a lingering sensation of having had a bite of some really high quality dark chocolate.
This one’s a keeper!

Sil

i really do love these teas

Terri HarpLady

Yup, that was a good call on your part! We’ll have to keep track of our favorites, for some future re-order!

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I have to leap into action in a few minutes, as I have a busy saturday, but for now I’m lingering over the re-steep of this yummy malty tea.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been sampling a lot of flavored teas, & it feels so good to have something like this today. No real bells & whistles to brag about here, just a tasty solid cup of black tea. It’s not as bold as some, also not bright & edgy. Just a rich smooth center, which is why it is the perfect center piece in Stacy’s Irish Breakfast, which I think I’ll have a cup of next.

Tea Sipper

This is my favvoorriittte.

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I’ve been drinking this tea all evening, ever since I got home from the college. I wish I had more to say about it, I’m still sipping it, & all I can say is I like it, & nice Chaqi. There is a little bitter edge, & I’m getting a nice tingle tongue. I’ll say more next time.
3 G X Gaiwan X short steepings 5/10/15/20/etc. I made it to 50!
I’d steep it some more, but I have to leave now!

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I do remember one thing I was gonna say! The early steepings kind of reminded me of cream of wheat :)

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I am now officially an adjunct professor at 3 colleges in St. Louis:
Missouri Baptist, where I’m not currently teaching, but am on their list for when somebody wants harp lessons

University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), where I have 1 student that will graduate this year.

Maryville University, where I registered today, got my parking pass, etc. I have one student there, here from Denver to study Music Therapy & Harp!

So I steeped this tea twice, at 3 min & then at 5. I combined both steeps with stevia in my large go cup (that awesome porcelain lined stainless steel one!). This was my driving tea on the way to meet with HR at Maryville. I think I enjoy this tea more each time I drink it!

Fjellrev

Congratulations, Terri!

Sil

YAY!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! I also talked to one of my student’s Dad today. She got a full ride at Illinois State (Bloomington, IL), where she’s studying violin. They don’t have a harp program there, but they want her to play harp for the orchestra, etc. Her Dad asked me to contact the department head about maybe doing a couple of lessons per month, but it’s a 3 hour drive. Egads! When I look at my crazy schedule (that changes constantly), I can’t imagine when I’d be able to do a lesson with her, unless she came to St. Louis a couple times a month.

Indigobloom

Neato, congrats! but don’t drive 3 hrs for lessons!

yyz

Congrats!

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This is a really lovely tea, & although I am not as wild about it as my other half (that’s you, Sil, LOL, at least in the tea world), I do enjoy it. I know I should write more detailed notes about it’s layers of deliciousness, but right now I’m just trying to play catchup on a long & busy day!

Sil

it’s one of my fav sweet honey type black teas. :) But i prefer bolder, darker teas on the whole.

Terri HarpLady

Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty all right. :)

Sil

haha i know…just felt the need to clarify. i’m having a rough day..

Terri HarpLady

aww…here’s a Hug

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The aroma of this tea is lightly floral & a little coconutty, but there is also a smell that makes me think of parmesan…kind of milkly but a little pungent. I have enough in my sample to try it a few more times, which is good because really, I was doing desk things while sipping this, so it didn’t get as much attention as it should.

I’m not a huge milk oolong fan, but having said that, there wasn’t anything objectionable about this cup. There also wasn’t anything memorable.

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92
drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
3071 tasting notes

I’ll have to remember to cut back on the number of pearls I use for this one! Most of the ‘pearl’ teas require 6 to make a decent cup, IMO.
I previously used 6 for this one, & that was too many. Today I used 5, & I think that was also an over-leaf. Next time I’ll try 4!

Still a tasty cup though, just a little on the strong side! Oh well, I have places to go, people to see, harps to move, etc. A strong cup is what I need. I steeped 3 times: 3 min, 4 min, 5 min, all very potent. This tea resteeps well! (alternatively, maybe next time I’ll shorten my steepings as well…)

Cavocorax

I just received my sample of this through Sil! Thank you! I can’t wait to try it. (And the Red Dragon Pearls. And… maybe I should take all these out and do a visual comparison/smell test?)

Sil

was trying to decide if i needed to place an order of these…garret mentioned being down to 4oz and maybe not having any left until next year..if that..

Terri HarpLady

I know! I actually went on the mandala site last night, thinking I might order more, but ended up getting other stuff instead…cough…

Sil

….OTHER STUFF?

Terri HarpLady

(bows her head in shame)

Sil

..other mandala stuff??

Terri HarpLady

yes, I tried the blooming black tea, & a couple puer samples

Sil

haha i keep going to place another order, but i just have so many of your samples to finish so i know better what i like…haven’t even started on the teas i actually ordered lol

Terri HarpLady

You’re gonna want to shoot me when the BBB arrives, whahaha ;)

Sil

oh god… hopefully it won’t get here until i’ve had a chance to get through the canadian tea box! I also have all your teas here..calling your name heh

Terri HarpLady

I think I can hear them…off in the distance…

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I have seen these pearls on steepster, & Jeweled Thumb was kind enough to send me a sample. I finally got a chance to try them out today, & although they were ok, they weren’t really my thing. I do enjoy a good jasmine tea from time to time, but today it just didn’t do it for me.
It’s probably me, rather than the tea.
However, thanks to Jeweled Thumb for sharing it with me!
And that’s a sipdown!

jeweledthumb

Sorry you weren’t a fan, BUT you don’t know how chuffed I am to see your review! =)

Terri HarpLady

Nothing to be sorry about! I appreciate the opportunity to sample it, all the same! Thanks!

Tea Sipper

I just thought yesterday that jasmine doesn’t seem like it would go with black tea.

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Profile

Bio

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!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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