1817 Tasting Notes

This is a sample sent with my Christmas order to Mandala Tea. It is soooooo good I think another order is warranted. I shared this with my best friend this evening and we were resteeping a single teaspoon of leaf in a tiny 8 ounce pot. We had gingerbread almond biscotti with it. Delicious!

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Backlog: we drank this ALL DAY yesterday, one pot after another, each one a resteep. It stayed nice and strong. I was going to drink the lincang at first, which is really luscious, but I wanted to use the beautiful puerh knife mrmopar gave me and the breaking tray my daughter gave me for Christmas. Hubby hung the tray on the tea wall for me so it is in easy reach and yet out of the way when not in use. I will post a pic if I can get it to work!

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drank Fete de Versailles by Nina's Paris
1817 tasting notes

Today was tea party day, and as promised, I served this as one of our teas. It was the second tea I served and we were having White Stilton cheese with cranberries in it, served on crackers.

My guest lifted her cup, sipped, set it down, did a double take, sipped again, and said, “What IS this?” I told her Laurent sent it and gave her the name of the tea. She sniffed it again and said, “Some tea is good. All of your tea is good. Some of it is A Plus. This is A Plus.” She remarked that it was especially nice with the cheese, and I agree. The orange of the tea didn’t fight with the stripe of cranberry running through the cheese, but instead enhanced the fruitiness. This was a great combination that I don’t want to forget.

I had also mentioned that I wanted to try it iced, and I did. I added a little of my homemade simple syrup, which is just sugar and water and no additional flavors, and it tastes just like orange blossom honey to me!

A real winner, and it is sooooo nice to have a Christmas (New Year’s, etc.) tea that doesn’t contain cinnamon and clove. I like both of those, but this is a refreshing change!

Thank you, Nina’s and Laurent!

caile

Sounds lovely!

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drank Fete de Versailles by Nina's Paris
1817 tasting notes

I just received a marvelous surprise in the mail! I will try to add a link so you can see the adorable “I am keeping this forever” miniature Marie Antoinette box and the beautiful white tin of this tea.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24998856@N06/11652962885/

I saw this advertised but did not order because I knew the girls had purchased lots of tea in London and Dublin for me for Christmas and hubby was getting me some puerh teas. Then I got a message from Laurent to look to my mailbox and today this arrived!

The smell when I opened the tin was incredible – I couldn’t stop smelling it. It was so intensely sweet and pure pure orange! Mandarins, I think. It is very like the fresh spray that hits your face when you are pulling back the peel of the juicy fruit.

The base tea is strong enough to taste through the orange, and the orange is the dominant flavor of them blend. I take my tea plain but I imagine this would be incredibly sweet with a bit of sugar added for those who are so inclined. This is such a lovely change from the all of the Christmas teas that are just a change of proportions of orange, clove, and cinnamon.

I am just so touched by the generosity of Nina’s and the Caravels. Thank you so much! I will be serving this at tea time on Wednesday!

OMGsrsly

That is awesome!

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I got this for Christmas from my youngest daughter and used it for the first time last night. Appropriately, I used it on my Mandala Tea Phatty Cake, which has some spots that are rather easy to break but some really difficult, hard spots around the edge.

This is a huge improvement over my previous dangerous cake breaking experiences. A slippery plate with no rim and a serrated tomato knife result in the occasional spilling of blood for tea. (Totally worth it, though)

I still don’t have a knife and pick but will get those soon. Even using my old knife, this was so much easier and safer. All the leaf was well contained by the rim, and the corner opening made it perfectly easy to just sweep the loose bits into the pot.

Hubby wants to devise a means of keeping it on display on the wall when not in use, and he prefers for it to be tilted in a diamond shape, which will tilt the Chinese character that is in the middle of the tray, so not sure if that is how we will do it. I wonder what the character is, anyway? I KNOW someone is going to ask!

Bottom line – I love it, and highly recommend buying one if you like any compressed cake teas.

Terri HarpLady

I probably need one of these. I finally got the pick, & am so grateful I did, as it works way better than the small screw driver I was using.
(heading over to the Mandala website cuz I still have some playpal money, & I have no self-control)

ashmanra

I think you will really enjoy it using, THL!

Awkward Soul

awesome, thank you for the review! I’ve seen the tray on the mandala site, but was questioning it. But from your review, I’m thinking I need one as something to keep the cake in place and catch loose bits would be very helpful.

mrmopar

This is a must have staple for Pu Er cakes and bricks. This thing gets used about every day and is well worth the money. Ashmanara if you need a pick I will be glad to send you one. I have several. Just message me with your address.

ashmanra

Wow, thank you for the amazing offer, mrmopar! I will send the address right now!

ashmanra

Awkward Soul: I expect I will be using this A LOT! It isn’t terribly big so it isn’t going to take up too much space, but it is plenty big enough for even the largest puerh cakes I have seen, like Moonlight White.

THL: let us know what you think if you end up ordering one!

Terri HarpLady

out of stock :\

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This was sent a s a free sample with my Christmas order from Mandala Tea. Thank you, Garret, because this is a real treasure.

I made this last night while we were playing Ticket to Ride, European version. My son wanted some, too, and when hubby saw our cups he asked for some as well. What a joy it is to have everyone in the family requesting tea now!

This puerh was clean and fresh, with lots of mineral flavor, no astringency, no fishiness, and not really horsey. Pure, fresh nature is what came to mind. There is an oily/creamy mouthfeel that I love, similar to what I find in Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds. This is excellent, and I will probably be ordering some more as soon as I can justify spending more money on tea.

NofarS

I love that game, but I don’t have the European version. The American one is fun, though.

ashmanra

We love the pace, you don’t have to sit and wait a long time so you don’t get bored.

ifjuly

my favorite pu erh so far, precisely for those “pure fresh nature” aspects. mm.

gmathis

Love the alliterative name…loose and luscious!

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Note: this is the loose leaf version, purchased in London.

I saw this described as Whittard’s lightest Earl Grey but the scent when I opened the tin seemed to challenge that notion. I notice that it is only referred to as black tea here except for one person who mentioned oolong, yet when I turned my tin over it said there was 13% green tea in this. Hmmmm. For this reason I pulled the temperature back ever so slightly and kept the steep a little shorter.

And guess what happened? The jasmine stepped forward in a big way and the bergamot was perfectly matched with it. It made a sweet dance of the most elegant flavors that made my pinky hoist into the air and made me glad I had used my favorite tea cup. The brew is fairly light in color, but the tea has plenty of strength so don’t oversteep this. You don’t want to miss it in all of its glory.

This is a tea I would serve to a friend who was sad and needed for me to say “There, there!” and give them tea and sympathy. Or one for a young lady’s first elegant tea party. Or for drinking when you need a touch of glorious beauty in your life.

Brilliant. And I wish you could see these tins. They are gorgeous.

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Note: I am drinking the loose leaf version.

I am really, really eager to try the Afternoon Tea in this set with jasmine and bergamot, but I wanted to dip some gingerbread almond biscotti in my tea this morning, and that really calls for unflavored tea to me. I opted for this one and braced myself for the first sip because it says, “Strong, Traditional” on the front of the beautiful little green and gold tin that I doubt I will ever part with because it is so beautiful.

The color in the cup did not lie. I made this in a small glass teapot and saw that it was a medium color with great clarity, though not too pale. I am a little afraid of some assam teas and I figured there would surely be some in this blend (and there is) but it isn’t harsh at all. I made a resteep because I hadn’t finished my biscotti and it was a little paler, not quite as strong, but still very enjoyable.

This is a good all around tea, easily drunk without milk or sugar, tasty for dipping biscotti or tea biscuits, and perfect for when you are not craving a particular tea or flavor and want an easy choice. Very nice!

Rosehips

Gingerbread almond biscotti sounds amazing!

Fjellrev

Oh man, does it ever.

ashmanra

They are quite good, and I only find them near Christmas. I need to go buy some extras to hoard!

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Merry Christmas, all! We have been drinking tea all day, one kind after another. My daughter and I shared a couple of steeps of this one. Her fiancé was drinking Hot Cinnamon Spice, the black version. He LOVES it and that is one of the things I gave him for Christmas. My daughter tried it and said it wasn’t bad for black tea but she isn’t the biggest fan of black teas. I made this hoping she would enjoy it since she found the black version tolerable, and she said she did highly prefer it to the black tea version. I made two steeps and mixed them together and got a really nice flavor level. I am really pleased with this one.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1817 tasting notes

If I had any notions of reducing my cupboard, they were blown out of the water today. I got lots and lots of tea for Christmas.

I wanted puerh after lunch to help keep the tummy happy after the holiday meal. My son and hubby usually want some whenever I have it, and this time they did indeed bring me a cup to fill. Then my eldest daughter wanted some. My, how far we have come from the days when they all turned their noses up at tea! My daughter’s fiancé had never tried puerh but he was game and gave it a try.

I am pleased to say that every last one of them liked this tea, even the puerh newbie. I made four steeps and then had to make four more. My daughter remarked that this wasn’t nearly as horsey as some we have had. I agree. It was rich and earthy, and the darker I made it the sweeter the aftertaste was.

I had high expectations and hopes for this one, and they were all met.

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Bio

I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about four years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

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North Carolina

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