364 Tasting Notes
Not always the biggest fan of white teas, but I do have my favourite Bai Mu Dan and Silver Needle. Never had a white pu’erh until I’ve tried Mandala’s teas.
Another first is the look of this tea. Very unusual cute little white buds, they are just perfect. The look like mini pinecones.
Since it’s my first experience with this type of tea, I diligently followed Mandala’s instructions (If you know me, you know I’m usually not so good at following “the rules”!)
The brewed liquor is really pale, almost colourless.
This is sweet and fresh at the same time, it reminds me of the purest maple water. It’s almost candy sweet and It’s got that soft mineral alkalinity, it’s round and velvety in the mouth. It’s similar to some yellow tea I really love. It’s subtle, but there’s still a nice distinct pu’erh earthiness to it.
Awww…I’ve fallen in love with so many teas lately! Thought I was all set with my usuals, and now I keep adding to my staple list. That’s your fault Garret! (And Dexter3657’s, and Sil’s, lol!) But that’s what I call a good problem, is it not?
It was pretty spectacular, it provided a beautiful relaxation moment… This was a blind buy and I’m so happy I went for it. It reminded me of happy times when I was just a little girl.
My grand father was everything to me, he was a mentor and his influence made me who I am today. He was a hard working farmer, and a maple syrup producer. He was a master at transforming quenching maple water into the most amazing treat ever. I’d spend hours at the sugar shack watching him perform his art. He’d let me drink the maple water directly from the bucket that had collected the precious nectar from maple trees. If you ever tasted maple sap, you know it’s unlike any other beverage. Here, we now find maple water at the grocery store, just like coconut water. Not quite as good and fresh as having it directly from the tree but close enough!
This tea was a good reminder of those happy memories…
This morning I made fresh peanut butter to have with my toasts. It was warm and so creamy, I ate a big spoonful before spreading it!
Not all teas make the peanut butter list. (K S already know that) I usually have my regular straight Assam, Yunnan and Keemun to pair with it. Don’t like any flavoured tea with it.
You have to understand that I’m picky cause peanut butter is considered heaven food in my household.
K S mentioned in a recent post that earl grey came highly recommended on his PBJ tea list so I made a mental note of that (I personally am more of a purist, I prefer classic unaltered PB on my toasts, I ditched the J a long time ago).
So, I chose this favourite Earl of mine. I usually prefer this version cause the creamy part mellows the bergamot I sometimes find offensive in blends. The reason I like it so much is that unlike other EGC, this one doesn’t scream vanilla. I don’t mind vanilla when it’s done right, but it can be heavy and a little sickening to me. Here, it just rounds the edges of Miss Bergamot. It’s a perfect cup! And yes, it complimented wonderfully my PB toasts this morning.
So K S, thank you, earl grey officially makes THE PB list!!!
Thanks you Dexter3657 for this special offering…
First, I do realize I a m drinking Morning Sun at night. Well, I checked and I couldn’t find any Evening Moon in my cupboard…besides, nothing stipulates that it should be drunk only in the morning, right?
The leaves are so pretty, they look like sunny little spirals. I basket brewed for only 3 min. as I watched and smelled the beautiful golden liquid, I knew it was enough. I’m usually a heavy steeper, but this tea is quite potent.
It may sound a little weird, but I get the sharpness of green peppers in this tea. But it’s also sweet and slightly woodsy. It feels thick and dusty in the mouth, it’s kind of hard to explain. I also get something reminiscent of a baked potato peel, earthy and roasted. I like it a lot. It has floral notes to top it all. It does have similarities to some Golden Monkey I’ve had, but I find this to be more complex.
Most of the time, I don’t re-steep black teas unless I gongfu brew. But this one had a lot more to give, the leaves were not fully unfurled, I managed to get three very tasty infusions.
So glad I made this part of my recent Mandala order, I know I have many more cups to come, and yes, will be able to experience the joy of having it in the morning!
Thanks Dexter3657 for another tasty treat :-)
On a good or a bad day, I have tea. Yes, it’s part of my life everyday. It’s something that brings me pleasure no matter how shitty my day is. I’ll take pleasure over happiness. Happiness isn’t reliable, you can’t expect to be happy everyday even if you want to. But you can experience the pleasure of having tea everyday :-)
Tea pleasure is reliable and measurable. This one is proof to my theory. It’s not a concept, but a moment in time that exists and is seizable, a simple pleasure in its purest form.
It is with such a pride that I broke a piece of my first sheng cake today. I know I have already reviewed this tea not long ago. This is just a quick addition.
It is stunning… a mossy-earthy-smoky feel and fresh minty grassy notes that make it so enjoyable… if that’s even possible, it tastes better than the first time I had it!
Dexter3657, I must thank you again for sending a sample in the first place.
(See previous note)
This tea is a regular but I ran out about 2 months ago and just restocked on it now. When I opened my order today (in a frantic fashion as usual), I fetched it out quickly cause I wanted it now!!
Im not one to seek after smoky teas, therefore, Keemun can be a real hit or a real miss for me. I like the more fruity type of Keemun, such as this one.
The smell is smoky, but very lightly, and even more so in the taste. Smoky in a way an egg would be when fried in bacon fat, yum!
The light smoke blends perfectly with the natural saltiness I find in it. Lol, did I just write that this tea basically reminds me of salt, bacon and eggs?
Winning combination, is it not? Need I to mention this is the perfect tea for brunch and breakfast.
But the main characteristics are the rich cocoa feel and fruitiness of this tea. It has no astringency, even when brewed longer (5 min. for me) and it is naturally sweet in a dried fruit kind of way. I personally would’t think of adding anything to it since it is so tasty, but this is the kind of tea that would sustain milk and sugar for sure. (And if your name is Sil, a dash of maple syrup would make it heavenly good!)
Zen Tea might not carry a zillion different types of the same teas, but I realize I hold many staples from them: a Darjeeling, an Assam, a Keemun, an Earl Grey…that tells me that Kenneth the owner chooses wisely what he decides to carry.
IMHO, This is tea is a steal and it compares to any higher end Keemun, it well deserves its permanent stash status in my cupboard!
This was sent to me by the wonderful Sil.
Having this tea as I’m getting ready to go out.
Whoa! Did not expect to like it this much. I have no idea what’s in a French Breakfast, and Mariage Frères not giving any detailed info on most of their blends, there’s no way of knowing. It bugs me cause I like to know exactly what I’m having.
The smell once brewed gave me the impression it was going to be smoky. Not in a Lapsang kind of way, but more of a Keemun. Smoky yes, but it doesn’t taste nearly as much as it smells and that makes me happy. Not a fan of heavy smoke. I forgot to examine the dry blend of my sample, but from the look of the picture and the taste, I would think golden tip Assam, and maybe Darjeeling and Ceylon? I’m just guessing here, from the level of fruitiness and astringency. (I steeped a good five minutes, 2 tsp in a 12oz mug.)
Anyways, whatever is in there, it’s a lovely tea, gave me the kick I needed to go and accomplish undesired duties!
Thanks a lot Sil, really digging this one :-)
As I was about to go to bed after closing all the lights, I noticed a halo illuminating the entire kitchen. I stood in front of the bay window and realized it was a full moon tonight…Blue shadows everywhere, the moonlight caressing the surface of the snow, creating the illusion of a vast carpet made of a thousand sparkling diamonds. Breathtaking.
No way I was going to bed…took my gongfu set and boiled some water. Decided I was gonna have a meditative tea session in silence with Miss Moon.
This tie guan yin was an excellent choice. It is everything I love about high mountain oolong. Very floral, buttery and sweet, but also juicy and refreshing. There’s a pure crystalline quality about this tea, a breath of fresh air.
Stayed there for a full hour. I kept staring at the night, the imagery was picturesque, I tell you, the only thing missing was the wolf howling at the moon!
My head is full of beauty from the scenery but also, from this magnificent tea, I think I can sleep now…
(See previous note)