90

Mandala is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to buy pu-erh from. I’m excited my Mengku gifting raw cake arrived today along with a few other goodies (ok, lots).

Those of you who read my tea log may know my fondness for the green rice scented pu-erhs. I’m kind of curious about what this rice scented herb is (Nuo Mi Xiang), but it smells so good. The aroma reminds me of hot buttered popcorn.

These are an interesting departure from regular shu, but not sweet or flowery which seems like a definite bonus (I’ve had the rose and chrysanthemum varieties before and they never thrilled me). I did one steep for about 45 seconds (regular infuser mug method) and got a medium-light smooth and earthy cup with a definite savory flavor. I liked it but thought it was a little light.

My second steep was for 1.5 or 2 minutes and then I got a dark, smooth and enticing elixir which is reminiscent of a cup of kona coffee. Ah, joy… The rice aroma is still sticking around through this second steep and now the leaves have unfurled a bit more to show some of their beauty. I am fascinated by this stuff, can you tell?

The third steep I left in for around 3 minutes, which resulted in a slightly lighter cup than #2. Here I think the rice aroma/flavor is fading a bit but the shu is emerging as a tasty, mellow champ.

yep, I liked this pretty well!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Garret

Hi Amy!! Just got back from China on a tea buying spree and read your recent reviews of some of our products. Thank you for taking the time to do so!! I had the fortune of visiting some tea gardens and buying mao cha directly from the farmers and am having some more raw tea pressings done this summer!! Found some good ripe materials as well that I am working on blending. Did I send you a sample of my latest ripe pressing, the gong ting (not on website yet)? If not, i’ll get some of that to you. I pressed 200 of those cakes and they should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Wishing you well!!

TeaBrat

Hi Garret -I did get it but haven’t had the chance to try it yet. For me pu-erh really needs my undivided attention and I’ve been so busy lately!

Kittenna

And this is the other one you sent me?

Kittenna

Ok :) Quick tutorial on brewing a little tuocha – do you rinse it? If so, how long/how hot? Do I need to break it up into pieces? I’ll follow your infusion times here (and go with just under boiling water, as it appears you did).

TeaBrat

Eh, good question! I usually rinse mine with boiling water briefly just to get rid of dust or anything that’s accumulated. I suggest you start with a light infusion of 30 seconds and see what you think, if the tea is too light keep increasing the steeping time until it gets the way you want it, you should be able to get a few steeps out of it. I don’t usually break mine up, I just keep the steeping times shorter if I’m using a small cup. I hope that helps! :)

Garret

What Amy said :)
You may check this out, too, a little video of mine from the tea room about mini-tuo cha:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdIW5jzwMCs

ENJOY!!!

Kittenna

Thanks Amy & Garret! I feel much more confident now :D And I think I’ll use my little glass teapot like was done in the video, as I think it would work well for the purpose. Ooooh, I’m excited! (Now the only question is… do I drink this before I go for a run, or after?!)

Garret

Hi Krystaleyn! I am a runner, too! I usually always start my mornings pre-run with pu’er tea! You can have a few steepings prior to a run and then use it for hydration following the run, too. Tea is great for the electrolyte balancing properties – in actuality, it is more hydrating than water alone! Happy running!!

Kittenna

Great to know! I ended up deciding before I read your comment that I would have it first, mainly because it’s hot and humid still here, so it may be an hour or more until it’s cool enough for me to go running. I imagine it may still be going strong for more infusions when I get back, too!

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Comments

Garret

Hi Amy!! Just got back from China on a tea buying spree and read your recent reviews of some of our products. Thank you for taking the time to do so!! I had the fortune of visiting some tea gardens and buying mao cha directly from the farmers and am having some more raw tea pressings done this summer!! Found some good ripe materials as well that I am working on blending. Did I send you a sample of my latest ripe pressing, the gong ting (not on website yet)? If not, i’ll get some of that to you. I pressed 200 of those cakes and they should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Wishing you well!!

TeaBrat

Hi Garret -I did get it but haven’t had the chance to try it yet. For me pu-erh really needs my undivided attention and I’ve been so busy lately!

Kittenna

And this is the other one you sent me?

Kittenna

Ok :) Quick tutorial on brewing a little tuocha – do you rinse it? If so, how long/how hot? Do I need to break it up into pieces? I’ll follow your infusion times here (and go with just under boiling water, as it appears you did).

TeaBrat

Eh, good question! I usually rinse mine with boiling water briefly just to get rid of dust or anything that’s accumulated. I suggest you start with a light infusion of 30 seconds and see what you think, if the tea is too light keep increasing the steeping time until it gets the way you want it, you should be able to get a few steeps out of it. I don’t usually break mine up, I just keep the steeping times shorter if I’m using a small cup. I hope that helps! :)

Garret

What Amy said :)
You may check this out, too, a little video of mine from the tea room about mini-tuo cha:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdIW5jzwMCs

ENJOY!!!

Kittenna

Thanks Amy & Garret! I feel much more confident now :D And I think I’ll use my little glass teapot like was done in the video, as I think it would work well for the purpose. Ooooh, I’m excited! (Now the only question is… do I drink this before I go for a run, or after?!)

Garret

Hi Krystaleyn! I am a runner, too! I usually always start my mornings pre-run with pu’er tea! You can have a few steepings prior to a run and then use it for hydration following the run, too. Tea is great for the electrolyte balancing properties – in actuality, it is more hydrating than water alone! Happy running!!

Kittenna

Great to know! I ended up deciding before I read your comment that I would have it first, mainly because it’s hot and humid still here, so it may be an hour or more until it’s cool enough for me to go running. I imagine it may still be going strong for more infusions when I get back, too!

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Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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