2816 Tasting Notes
I wanted to note that I purchased this Purple Rhyme from Mandala Tea but since it is already in the database twice under two different sellers I didn’t see any point in adding it again since it is the same tea and manufacturer. Bonus in ordering from Mandala is shipping is cheaper than from other places and yet they have a great selection of pu-erhs for a domestic company.
Pretty much figured when I bought this there was zero chance I wouldn’t like it because Menghai shu pu-erhs are becoming some of my favorites. I did rinse this and then gave it a 30 second steep in the gaiwan. The wet leaves are intensely aromatic of forest floor aroma and coffee grounds. Charles is right about this being a very dark shu but I am loving it. It has an almost creamy and rich quality with dark stone fruit flavors. I did my first two steeps for 30 seconds in the gaiwan and tossed them in together in the same glass mug. This is a very eye opening tea.
For steeps #3 and 4 they only required about 10 seconds of steeping time before the tea liquor became very dark and flavorful. To me it is very earthy, and shiitake mushroom like. This is a great substitute for coffee being quite dark and robust, but it also has no bitterness.
I also have one of the Menghai Red Rhyme 100 g cakes and I recall that being a little on the lighter and sweeter side but they are both quite good in my opinion. I am not a pu-erh expert, I just know what I like. :-)
This has been lurking about in the back of my stash for a while now so I would like to finish it someday. It’s a pretty nice strawberry flavored black tea, a blend from China, India and Sri Lanka which does makes it a lot like their breakfast blend. There is definitely strawberry in here, I don’t get much “cream” but that flavor is helped along with a bit of soymilk.
I started drinking Tulsi just because it seems to help me cope with stress. I found this one at the health food store and it only contains tulsi, chamomile, red rooibos and mango flavor. I wish there was a bit more mango flavor in this tea, to me it tastes mostly like rooibos with the slightly peppery herbal quality that tulsi has. I do this better than the rose tulsi due to the lack of stevia but I’m not going to be raving about the flavor anytime soon… :)
Having said that it does seem to help me relax, so that’s good – maybe I will find something to add to this to make it slightly better.
I really wanted this because I am a sucker for this strange packaging – you get your pu’erh in a piece of bamboo, how cool is that? :)
I really wasn’t expecting much from this especially given the reasonable price. And raw pu’erhs can just be kind of sour, bitter and gnarly. I steeped some of this up earlier today in my gaiwan and totally forgot about it for 2 or 3 minutes. I was expecting a vile mess but it was nice and mellow!
So I’ve had four infusions with the tea so far, I did rely on shorter steeps for the duration of the experience. I was expecting this to be really smoky for some reason. It’s earthy and smooth with no bitter flavors but I can’t really describe the flavor profile of this tea! I think the bamboo steaming is definitely different (in a nice way). I might be getting some notes of light cedar, woodsy, here, slightly nutty and only a touch of mild astringency. I must think it’s good because I keep going back for more. :)
I steeped it six times and it shows no signs of slowing down. very good!
I decided to treat myself this morning. It’s been a tough week and why not splurge on some nice gyokuro?
I steeped this with a mesh insert inside a glass – maybe not the most eloquent thing but it did the job. I followed Den’s steeping recommendations and did 150 seconds at 140 F. I got a very sweet, almost glowing green and vegetal cup.The second steep was at 2 minutes at 150 F and I think I liked that one even a little bit better. The only other gyokuro I’ve had was the one from Arbor teas and now I wish I could compare the two side by side.
Anyway this is great if you’re looking for a sencha like product but without the bitterness or astringency that can sometimes go with those. I did like this one a lot and the caffeine buzz is certainly nothing to scoff at! It wasn’t cheap but I will mostly certainly savor and appreciate it.
I have been trying to de-cupboard especially in terms of herbal tea. These RoT teabags are so wimpy…. I cut them open and used 4, yes FOUR contents of loose leaf teabags to get a nice big cup of tea. So it is more enjoyable this way, I still found the plantain flavor to be oddly lacking but adding some soymilk seemed to help with that somehow. I think loose leaf is the way to go with RoT but I don’t see this particular flavor in a loose leaf form on their site.
Another sample from Shang Tea – and one of my favorites so far…
I used my whole sample in a mug of tea, the aroma is floral but also with some honey and molasses fragrance. The cup brews up a dark red is very smooth and mellow, clean tasting. There is some cocoa and molasses in the flavor as well along with a little sweetness. Definitely a good tea if you want to avoid anything astringent or bitter…
I am very stressed out this morning but thankfully a cup of this is helping me to feel better and more relaxed. I would say this has a very strong molasses-y aftertaste so if that’s not a flavor you like you might want to stay away from this.
I did resteep a second time and it’s still very nice. This is a big ol’ cup of sweet yum!