1047 Tasting Notes


Yum, this pu’er is fantastic! It is surprisingly on the light side and easy to drink. I’m thinking this pu’er is the opposite of Mandala Tea’s “Special Dark”.
There are sweet amber and vanilla notes. Loads of creamy textures. Hardwood and tobacco notes. Crazy good aftertaste that is really strongly floral apricot.

You’ll miss that aftertaste if you drink this tea too fast – ya need to take your time with it, despite its easy to drink lightness.

I’ve tried Tea Setter’s Sweet Fragrance Pu’er and this so far, and I feel the EAGP is my favorite! Love the aftertaste and the mass creamy and vanilla flavors. I might have to get more of this tea!

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/19/ethical-agricultures-wild-grown-puer-tea-setter-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Guest Squid appearance!


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Sipdown, yeah!

I had to cut it with another matcha, Cookies and Cream black matcha, so I had enough matcha. I made it with soy milk and ice cubes – very tasty! I did like the cheesecake flavor, but I think I prefer more in your face stuff like the fruity or chocolate flavors.

The matcha really got me focused on studying the drivers handbook. I learned something new: You cannot do a U turn on a one way street and you cannot shoot firearms at signs. Well, yeah.. /facepalm


I’m kind of curious to know why they had to put the second in the book. And when!


I wouldn’t be surprised if more people go out and do it because it’s in the book. I’ve seen bullet holes in signs before. Unintentional reverse psychology!

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Breakfast tea!

Hmmm, I swore I have had a better cup of this. Maybe I didn’t get the ultimate spread of tea bits? It was quite heavy on the black flavor with not much spice or sweet. Hmmmm, well I have another 2 or 3 cups left, hopefully they come out as good as previous cups.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

I hate when that happens. Esp since I’ve had this one before and it was sooooo good!

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drank Juicy Blueberry by Zen Tea
1047 tasting notes

Dang, I thought this was a sip down, but apparently I didn’t add it to the cupboard in the first place!

Mostly a berry flavor with a little blueberry. The lemongrass in this blend adds some interest and pep without being flat. Sadly, I do not notice any creamy or yogurt flavors.

Back to knitting and listening to DMV’s drivers handbook.


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Sipdown! I cold steeped the rest of this tea in my takeya iced tea maker, phew!

Must sip down more! Anyways, this came out really nut shelly tasting. I’m sitting back, crocheting a commission and watching awful california DMV driving instruction videos. http://youtu.be/E9H0yON1Xf0 to relearn how to drive again. Gosh, those videos are terrible yet helpful.


‘Iced tea maker’ sounds so fancy. It kind of makes me covet one.


Driving vids are ALWAYS awful, sometimes funny because they’re so awful though.


At least they’re not rapping about driving in a semi truck’s blind spot. “The no-zones! The no-zones! Got-ta-look-out-for-the no-zones!”

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drank Kenyan Black by Justea
1047 tasting notes

http://www.justea.com/ has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support farmers in producing their own tea, thus sold farm direct for fair trade prices.

I found this Kenyan black to be very fresh tasting, yet full flavored, malty, robust with cedar wood and cocoa notes. There is a light to moderate level of astringency present which I wasn’t into personally. however I enjoyed the freshness!

BTW, this tea is very good with dry chocolate biscuits. It just complimented the tea and made the astringency go down.

Full review on my blog, the Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/17/kenyan-black-tea-justea-oolong-owl-tea-review/

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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YUM! This tea reminds me of those fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bars without the nuts. The pairing of chocolate and fruityness is tasty!

This tea is quite creamy and milk chocolately throughout most of the sip. Steep City put a generous amount of chocolate chips in this blend! End of sip you get some honey like berry flavors. With sweetener, I can pick up the berry flavor has raspberry in it.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2013/09/16/choco-honeyberry-tea-steep-city-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

I’ve been waiting for a review of this one. Looks like it’s good!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1047 tasting notes

Round 2! I resteeped the leaves from last night’s go at Special Dark.
This time I added some honey and a splash of soymilk.

SOO CREAMY! Rich, chocolately with a interesting caramel note along with some woodsy nuttyness thickness.

I think I prefer short steeps of Special Dark, though adding milk and sweetner was pretty yummy – I could see myself doing it again.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

That’s it…I’m gonna have to make a Mandala order as soon as I have the cash! :P


I’m thinking the same thing!


So great! This is the tea we’ve been brewing up at the sampling bar all day!! Yum! So happy you’re diggin’ it!! I just secured 20 more pounds of it from the producer, but that’s it. All gone after that unless a miracle transpires and he finds more in his tea factory!

Awkward Soul

Uh oh. Limited supply always gets me, I know I’m ordering more with my next order!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1047 tasting notes

I saw Terri Harplady steeped Special Dark for like 7 minutes and I totally needed to try it! I tasted it at 5 minutes and WHOA THAT IS FREAKING DARK! Rich, burnt chocolate with almost a nutty finish – it’s comparable to coffee like in intensity. It’s so strong, flavorful and addictive, I have to sip it very slowly. I made my cup while I was finishing up making dinner (Pioneer woman’s pork roast with apple and caramelized onions and some risotto on the side) and I’m still working on it after I’ve finished eating dinner!

My roommate, the one I’ve converted to tea for sludgy coffee, would dig this tea. I might have him try it – he’d love it sooo much!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Good stuff! This is how I make puerh lattes…really strong!


oh man..i can’t believe it’s never occurred to me to make a puerh latte…


The 7 minute steep is my favorite way to drink Special Dark. It’s a kick in the face but so yummy. I shall have to try it in latte form. I never thought of trying that before.

Terri HarpLady

Even though I sometimes like to do short steepings, I really love doing a long strong one too. I don’t usually go 7 minutes. I think I got that idea from Grace :)


Sweetening puerh or adding milk can increase the caramel notes…You begin to know which ones are going to be best for lattes after awhile. A real Fall and Winter treat!


Not latte’s! CHA-tte’s! That’s what we call here at Mandala Tea :) So tasty!!!!!! And if you are adding something other than whole milk and using thinner products like almond or rice milk, I like blending in some really nice coconut milk to thicken up the mouthfeel a bit. I just use a stick blender. Awesomeness, children!

Terri HarpLady

On the rare occasion that I make a Chatte (I’ll use that from now on Garret, thank you), I use canned coconut milk, but for some some reason I never though of whipping it up with my immersion blender! Now I want to make a chatte!


YES – to coconut milk!! I use that in my post-workout smoothies! So delishus. And the coconut oil/fat is so beneficial to the body. And incredible oil that I use for darned near everything – cooking, skin care, tea. I could drink coconut milk til the cows come home!

Terri HarpLady

Yup, me too Garret! I also make Keifir from it :)


That is an excellent idea! I used to make so much kefir when I had access to raw, grass-fed milk… Do you use kefir “grains” or some other culturing method?

Terri HarpLady

I use Kefir grains. They have to go into real milk every couple of days, but my sons can drink the milk kefir, so it works out ok. I’ll have extra Kefir grains soon, so if you want some, let me know!


I used to do coffee tastings and recommendations for specialty grade coffees (can I say coffee here? :) ), and although I drank my coffee black, there were some origins that benefited from a bit of sugar or cream.For example, a bit of sugar would bring out the complex fruitiness of Ethiopians and Kenyans, and just a dash of cream would bring up the chocolate notes in a great Kona or Guatemalan.
I have a sample of this that Garret sent along with an order and I need to try it asap. As a almost former coffee drinker, I will probably do 2 rinses and then a 5 minute steep. From what I read, it sounds like I’m in for a treat.

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Thank you takeya iced tea maker – it is really helping me sip down fruity teas. I just make a huge pitcher full of iced tea and drink it throughout the day.
This tea is much better iced, so I should be able to drink all this in one more giant pitcher worth. Still meh on flavor, wish the fruityness was stronger with better white tea base.


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I’m a crafty knitter and crocheter that loves to work on a project and drink tea. I worked as a counsellor and I chain-drink tea to keep me calm and grounded.

I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk.

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.
My recommended tea shops:
Mandala Tea
Steep City Teas
Butiki Teas
Della Terra Teas
Verdant Tea
Yunnan Sourcing
52 Teas / Zoomdweebies
Red Leaf Tea
New Mexico Tea Co
Bluebird Tea Co
The Persimmon Tree

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

I have a husband and a bunny who both hate tea. More for me!!!! MUUAHAHAHAHAAA


Long Beach, CA



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