2915 Tasting Notes

drank GABA Black by Mandala Tea
2915 tasting notes

I’ve claimed sipdowns of this tea twice! First I drank a Sample Sil had provided, then I received another sample from Garret. And then Sil sent me some more!
Not like it’s a problem, or anything, because it is a tasty cup, & I enjoyed a whole pot of it today with my lunch. See previous reviews for further comments, because I know I’m not really doing this tea justice today.

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Although this isn’t the original sichuan caravan, I still enjoy it.


strange as reading the tea name the Doors song Spanish Caravan appears …although they are typically not the same caravans !

Terri HarpLady

Nope, but it’s close enough!! :)

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This was the 2nd tea I brought along with me today, to sip on the way back home. You might initially think, “Two vanilla teas in a row?”
But other than vanilla, & the fact that they both have black basses, these 2 teas have nothing in common. Except that they are both delicious :D


Two vanilla teas in a row? What a lovely thing! :D

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This is one of two teas I steeped in to-go cups (porcelain lined stainless).
I drank this one on the way to the university, lightly sweetened to bring out the vanilla & caramel goodness. I love that this one is made with the premium taiwanese assam as a bass, it gives it a nice full background.

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Starting the morning with this one, from a tea order Sil & I shared awhile back.
Such a wonderful sweet mouth thickening cup! I still haven’t tried this one gongfu.

I’m trying to get motivated, because one of my college students has her Senior Recital Hearing today at 12:30. She’ll play the recital for myself & 3 other faculty members. There are forms for their comments, & of course, they have to give the go ahead for the actual recital, which takes place next month. It’s mostly a formality, & I’m sure she’ll do great.
That’s the main thing on my agenda today :)


Doesn’t that sort of thing make you extremely proud as a music teacher? I think it would for me. :)

Terri HarpLady

Oh yeah! My students are my ‘other children’, & this one has been with me for over 10 years. She did a great job yesterday, & her recital, on may 10, will be wonderful!

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This Shu has an almost moist pliability to it. It starts out a little musty, with a peatmoss type personality. After a few steeps, that mellowed out, & it’s an ok tea, but doesn’t really have that much personality, if that makes sense to anyone out there. It also didn’t really hold out for long on resteeps.

Regardless of my lame comments, I’m grateful for the opportunity to give it a try, thanks to Tea Explorer, & I have enough to drink it one more time. Who knows, maybe my tastebuds are just lame today, right?


“Who knows, maybe my tastebuds are just lame today, right?” Maybe not. Some people seem to like this tea, but to me it seems rather one-dimensional. I’ve been assuming that’s just an artifact of my palate, but it sounds like you had a similar experience.

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I feel like the one I drank yesterday (the tibetan flame) carried more interest. But still, always good to try all the teas! :)


Good to see tea notes floating from your direction—nasty weather come near you?

Terri HarpLady

oh…you know the weather people just took over the 2nd half of the Big Bang Theory to blather on about potential tornadoes, & then they returned to foam at the mouth over the so called tornado that was floating over us, giving a blow by blow report as if they were announcers at a Cardinals baseball game. There was no actual damage, other than a tree down. I get a little (ok, more than a little) irritated over their drama, & from what I can tell, it’s just another typical spring storm.

Terri HarpLady

Any minute now they will probably interrupt Elementary…


‘Fraid the media is not really doing us a favor with early warnings other than to cause us to panic unnecessarily. Down here, we don’t need prompted panic…we do it quite well on our own :)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, the media is always (in my opinion) on the lookout for an opportunity to create a feeding frenzy of fear, to justify their existence. I avoid news broadcasts because there is very little news offered. The only time I watch TV is when I am at Tony’s house. I don’t actually own a TV, & have no need for one, but I don’t mind snuggling on the couch & watching it with him, because we have fun & humorous discussions while we’re sitting there, & laughter is always a good thing. :)

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When I think of a Russian Caravan tea, I always expect something kind of smokey & thick textured, but that is not the case with this one. Really it’s more like an english breakfast, at least in my opinion. Still a tasty cup of tea, but not what I was expecting at all!
Thanks to Sil for this generous sample. The rest of it will go into my sipdown box for some future extravaganza (unless somebody I owe a box to would like to try it? just let me know)


i really liked the purearomateas…they were inexpensive and really nice

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Thank you Charlotte Zero!

I love Jin Jun Mei teas, & this one was a staple in my cupboard for awhile, but then Verdant no longer carried it, & eventually I ran out. I have several other Jin Jun Mei’s as well, mostly from Yunnan Sourcing, & it might be nice to compare them at some point, but just for today, I’m enjoying this rare treat, sent to me generously from Charlotte Zero.

The prewarmed leaf aroma is toast with honey, & it lingers in the sinuses nicely. The tea itself is a honey wheat toast, with butter & honey. I love that kind of taste profile in a tea. The later steepings are less sweet, & take on a more savory peppery quality, as well as a linen texture.




I still have a sample of this. How long did you steep yours?

Terri HarpLady

I went with the super short gongfu steepings…a quick rinse, & then 3/6/9 sec etc
I have enough to do the ‘western steep’ next time :)

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I’m drinking this again, even though I drank it a few days ago, because:
1 – It is quite tasty, & seemed like the perfect cup for this rainy day.
2 – I wanted to polish off the sample Boychik sent to me! This doesn’t qualify as a sipdown, because I have an entire tin of this in my cupboard, but at least it is a sample sipdown, so that’s one less baggie sitting around, right?


Sample sipdowns are like exciting mini accomplishments so congratulations!


totally counts :)

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Thank you to Lee for sharing some of this tea with me. I do enjoy a good shui xian, & today is the perfect day for a cozy tea such as this one. We are having spring thunderstorms on & off, so the air is heavily humid, with that gloomy overcast kind of sky that makes me just want to go back to bed. I only have one more student today, & not until 4:30, which makes this a perfect afternoon to do a variety of small projects at my desk, while sipping an endless stream of teas! My kind of day!

When I opened the bag this tea came in & breathed in its sweet & floral essence, every voice in my head (especially Ms Theresa’s) said, “Yixing”. But I followed the suggestions of 1.5 Tb to 16 oz for 2 minutes. It was tasty, with a gentle essence of a creamy caramel flan with maybe a little burnt brown sugar on top, but I honestly wish I’d either used less water or a longer steep, so I switched the leaf over to my yixing for the resteeps.
We live, we learn :)

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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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