Well I know it is too late for caffeine but I couldn’t resist trying this. I am generally not a huge fan of lapsang because I find the smoky flavor to be totally overwhelming. When I saw this on Mandala’s site being described as subtle I figured I would like that. When I compare my tea to the one in the picture it is a bit lighter so I may need to use a bit more leaf next time… I will hold off on rating this for now but my overall impressions are very good. In aroma and flavor this is like a lapsang lite which has a pleasant and subtle smoky aroma & flavor which is delicious and does not cover up the flavor of the tea underneath. More to come…
1581 Tasting Notes
The afternoon cuppa. Technically a honeybush although it’s listed under the rooibos section of their website and they call it a rooibos on the bag. weird. I like this though!
Finishing off the rest of this sample today. I’m still shocked at some of the other reviews of this, maybe these people don’t know how to properly steep a pu-erh or appreciate it. :-P
I thought this had a smooth date, almost cinnamon-y flavor. It is a bit lighter in flavor than some other pu-erhs I’ve had which is actually kind of nice. Did not find it muddy or fishy at all – See my previous notes.
Jasmine is definitely not a favorite of mine so I set out to try this with some trepidation. It came in my Shang sampler pack but is definitely not something I would have bought as a stand alone item.
Yeah the jasmine in this blend is pretty strong, although it smells great the aftertaste is a tad bit bitter and soapy for me. However the aroma is very natural and I can tell this is a high quality tea, very clean and flavorful but I’m not totally feeling the love. Someone who is a true jasmine fan could probably make a better review than this one…
Most of the time I tend to like darker and more robust green teas, but there is something about this valley peak that I am really loving. It is light but has a great nutty flavor. I’m glad to have this back in stock! (see previous notes)
This is a sipdown, sadly. I mixed the remaining of this tea with some Organic Vietnam Nam Lanh from Arbor Teas this morning and it’s a nice mix. I will miss this Russian tea!
Thanks to TheDJBooth for giving me some of this in a recent swap.
hmm, I agree with the other reviewers here, this doesn’t taste much like tiramisu. I got an almond aroma in the bag and my tea tastes a bit like a rooibos mocha almond drink. I’m picking up on coffee, weird. The flavor was helped along with the addition of some soymilk which made it more dessert like for yours truly.
This wasn’t bad but I’m not too surprised it was discontinued… I was glad I got to try it though!
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!
This morning I am finishing off this sheng sample from Bana. I remember fondly my revelation that sheng did not have to be a sour, assertive beast after trying some of theirs. I am certainly wanting to purchase a cake or two of this, see previous notes.
Special thanks to ashmanra for sending me this sample which is making my morning quite delightful!
Most often I drink single black teas instead of blends, because I find I don’t care for the blends. However, this is delicious! I am just getting used to drinking black teas straight, and if I can drink a black tea without dumping milk and sugar in it, I find that to be a good sign. ;-)
This is a very rich and round tea. Others have said it’s a blend of assam, ceylon, keemun and oolong. I am not picking up on smoky flavors but I am definitely getting the oolong here in the finish. This would be a nice breakfast blend for myself although I could also see serving it as an afternoon or evening tea. It’s exceedingly smooth and elegant and would go well with sweets or heartier fare. I can see wanting to have this in my cupboard at all times, so now I am kind of bummed I just placed an order with H&S a few days ago!
I couldn’t help myself and I googled the Palm Court, it looks rather posh:
I couldn’t tell if they were serving this Harney tea from looking at their menu, but it does seem like quite an experience! Dreaming….
So. very. yum.
Seeing as how I’ve gone through 3 tins of this since January I might just have to break down and order the 1 lb. size from them. Still my favorite rooibos by far…
I was surprised at how much I liked this one, my sample went away pretty quickly! It reminds me of a decadent Starbucks drink but without all the calories (it is good with a bit of soymilk however)
I will definitely be getting more soon along with some of the other mates to try…
Normally my after lunch tea is a pu-erh but I really wasn’t sure since I had Indian food for lunch. Decided to go with something tried and true… I would like to try some other moroccan mints sometime to see how they compare with this one. I think it is a bit on the light side but refreshing.
This houjicha seems to be the perfect thing for the rain and cold weather. I love the roasted and sweet flavor of this, see previous notes. I recommend it!
Thanks to LiberTeas for sending me a sample of this to try! It’s gloomy and rainy here this morning so it seemed like the perfect time to try this out.
Red teas are intriguing to me. The wet leaves here had an aroma of malt and cocoa. The cup is very smooth and sweet tasting at the beginning but then gets sort of bitter and astringent at the end, I think I will try steeping this at a slightly lower temp next time. The predominate flavors I am getting here are malt and chocolate with a nice fruitiness of plums. I was drinking this plain but then decided to add some soymilk because it is so strong. I think I will need to take the rest of this home and gong fu it to see if I get better results. It’s pretty neat stuff though.
Someone gave my bf one of the Teavana glass tea makers so I’ve been trying it out, I cold brewed this in the refrigerator for 48 hours and it works well, I think I prefer this tea hot, since it became lightly vegetal and slightly astringent instead of sweeter like I was hoping it would.
Thanks so much to the generous Fusion Tea Room for sending me this free sample.
I’m not even gonna bother rating it, I know fruit teas with hibiscus are not my favorites by far. This was better than I was thinking it would be, it’s gingery with strawberry notes and I think the strawberry/blackberry leaves lend to it a slightly herbal quality. I felt it was too tart for me and I had to add a bit of sugar. It isn’t really to my taste but I am sure some other folks out there would love this. LMK if you’d like a sample.
This is such a nice puerh blend. I am picking up a lot of ginger and galangal today and not much berry at all, but no matter. It’s a nice combination with the rich shu and makes it very zesty (see previous notes). A great after lunch tea!
Just finishing off the last of this sample, courtesy of SimplyJenW
This is such a nice tea for rose lovers – also going on my shopping list for when I place a massive order with Upton (my list keeps growing!)
Backlogging – I’ve had this a few times now, and although it is a nice rooibos blend, slightly on the sweet side, I am not picking up any lemon here whatsoever so that was a bit of a disappointment. I’m picking up more straight rooibos than anything, Perhaps it’s just me since nobody else has remarked on it. I don’t have too much more to say so will just leave it at that. :)
we had this for breakfast today – I definitely recommend it plain and not with soymilk. Not the best darjeeling I’ve ever had but still very nice. See previous notes. :)
I’m finishing off the last of this sample before switching to a glass of wine. hee hee. Thanks again for the sample Verdant. Please see my previous notes regarding the flavor.
This came as a swap from ashmanra – thank you so much! I have to say I have been curious about this one for a while. I haven’t been a fan of smoky teas in the past but they seem to be growing on me. Lapsang is pretty strong on its’ own but I am finding I like it blended in things.
This afternoon we were out paddle boating on Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. It’s been foggy today and we were tired. I suggested to my sweetie that we try this, it smells good!
I never would have thought to put darjeeling in a blend like this but it somehow works. There is a very flowery note which is balanced out well by the keemun and the lapsang, which provide a dark smoky note. However, the smoke does not seem overwhelming to me, it doesn’t really overpower the tea. It even has a little bit of sweetness. This is a great one to just sip on straight, we really are enjoying it. I think I’ll have to pick some up when I order from Upton next!
I am going back to this one again this morning since I haven’t had it for a while. It isn’t nearly as good as the Mengku gifting raw I had yesterday, but is still a nice raw pu-erh. It seems a bit more mellow & sweet than I remember it. I don’t know if the tea has changed that much in a few months, more likely I have changed. hee hee!