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97
drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
807 tasting notes

I am exhausted and the day is only half over considering I got up at a reasonable time today. However I know I will have my second wind around midnight so I have a ways to go.

So I began my day with this tea by accident. I had ordered two yixing pots from Mandala and one was called Black Pearl. Instead of that I got this but I am not unhappy about it. I almost ordered this with my yixings and other offerings but took it out of my cart to stay under my budget. You see the black pearl tea in the 4 ounce quantity is almost the exact same price as the yixing pot! Needless to say I wrote Garret and said I would keep this tea and get the second yixing soon. So happy accident. The best kind!

The first thing I thought when I saw the tea was “wow those are some big balls”. Okay if you are done laughing – they really are large when compared to say gunpowder green or jasmine pearls etc. So I now have a very immature and yet affectionate name for this tea.

I had two steeps this morning then ran errands, went to our tiny local Asian shop, grabbed some Pad Thai noodles, some siriacha sauce, ube ice cream, and white rabbit candy. No really knock out teas there but its not like I need more tea.

Then I came home, seasoned my yixing pot which is now soaking, and am having my third steep.

The tea is awesome. Toasty, chocolate notes seem to be what really grab me. I also enjoy the malty notes and the grain notes as others have mentioned. It has more than endured three steeps and I project can go at least 2 if not 3 or so more.

I stepped 4 pearls in my Kali Tea cup with infuser (8 ounces).

First steep 1 min, then 2 min on steep two, steep three I was distracted by several things, my daughter’s soup I was making, neighbors dog loose, a fire truck showing up down the road at another neighbors, (hope she is okay), etc and so on.

This steep got a good 10 minutes or more and it is SO rich SO yummy yet it is not astringent, nor bitter! WOW!

Perhaps I won’t be able to get those other steeps since I totally over steeped this one yet on smelling the leaves they still seem to have far more to offer! The leaves now have a lovely vegetal aroma to them! The following steeps will be interesting indeed!
More to come if I remember to note more.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
TeaBrat

This is a great tea! Happy you got your order.

Azzrian

Yeah I agree Garret is awesome and I am sure he will kick himself for the error but it was an honest mistake. This tea is so worth having. :)

Garret

uggghhhhhhh!!!!! I cant believe that happened!!! I saw black pearl and I immediately thought of the black tea. I apologize! But… I am so glad you enjoyed the tea!!! I bought these black pearls during the last couple trips to China and I love love love love them!!!

Azzrian

Oh yes I do enjoy them and will prize them as well! They are lovely. :) Don’t worry about it Garret – I was confused at first where the other Yixing was and then saw the tea and realized the confusion lol kind of funny really.

Thomas Smith

What tea are you seasoning the pot with/for?

Azzrian

Seasoning for Shu – will do Sheng in the other yixing when i get it.
I used Bu Lang Gong Ting from Mandala to start the process.

Kittenna

Azzrian – are these like the Fengqing Black Pearls from Teavivre? Also – I love white rabbit candies!!! I can eat a whole bag (probably) in one sitting, but I haven’t had them in a while. Perhaps when I’m visiting my parents in a couple weeks I can convince them to get some :D

Azzrian

I don’t know I don’t think I even have those – if I do I have not tapped into them yet. Unless I did and forgot about it. I really don’t think I have tried these yet.

Thomas Smith

Shu Puerh seasons so nice and easily and you don’t really need to work about pot material as long as it’s an fixing pot rather than a terra cotta mimic (shape and size is still important, though). I didn’t realize how lucky I got with my first Sheng pot, though, until I tried seasoning three more pots for gifts and found a lot of issues depending on material. Wound up keeping one and only use it for tea that’s 20+ years old since it’s a great pot but doesn’t work well at all for younger tea.

Thomas Smith

Gah, stupid autocorrect. work=worry, fixing=yixing

Azzrian

LOL yeah I knew what ya meant but yes auto correct can be a pain sometimes!
How many pots do you have?

Thomas Smith

Currently just 9 yixing pots since I season and give some away as gifts and am down to my personal use ones (I just sold two other personal use ones, which I won’t list here). 100mL Zi Ni Squat Modified Shi Piao for loose, small leaf Shu Puerh; 220mL Zi Ni Shi Piao for larger leaf and compressed Shu Puerh; 220mL Duan Ni Rounded Shi Piao for young Sheng Puerh; 110mL Zhu Ni pearl-shaped pot for traditional style Tieguanyin; 180mL Zi Ni Rong Tian for Fenghuang Dancongs; 180mL aged coarse Zhu Ni Rong Tian for Da Hong Pao; 180mL “Black Zhu Ni” (I think it’s just very dark Zi Ni, really) Rong Tian for roasty Wuyi Yancha, Shui Xian, and Rou Gui; 110mL thin-walled Zhu Ni Rong Tian for non-roasty Gaoshan Oolongs; 150mL Qing Hui Ni Shi Piao for 20+ year old Sheng Puerh (paired with matching cups).

Azzrian

Well you are WAY WAY ahead of me LOL I am still a youngin when it comes to yixing but learning all I can :)

TeaBrat

I only have two right now – for wuyi oolongs and for sheng, but I need one more at least for shu. I am not quite as advanced at Thomas, here. :D

Azzrian

I just have the one still lol getting one more from mandala on payday for shu and maybe another for oolong but I think THINK I will stop there. Then again I have said that about teas before too :)

Thomas Smith

Ultimately it’s best to just have ‘em for the teas you enjoy by yourself on a very frequent basis. I’m kinda bummed how little I use my Gaoshan pots (just sold one for the roastier Gaoshans that I drink more frequently). I also wish I used my aged puerh pot more, but that’s an issue of supply rather than demand ;p
I definitely recommend matching the shape to the tea, though. Rounder with a higher lid clearance for teas that will expand or (more importantly) have a greater amount of light aromatics to retain; more squat and larger volume for allowing settling and opening of compressed teas while retaining temperature.

@Amy: So says the person with more than 10x the reviews on here, hahaha.

Azzrian

Now that is some sound advice! I never thought about shape before! Thank you!

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Comments

TeaBrat

This is a great tea! Happy you got your order.

Azzrian

Yeah I agree Garret is awesome and I am sure he will kick himself for the error but it was an honest mistake. This tea is so worth having. :)

Garret

uggghhhhhhh!!!!! I cant believe that happened!!! I saw black pearl and I immediately thought of the black tea. I apologize! But… I am so glad you enjoyed the tea!!! I bought these black pearls during the last couple trips to China and I love love love love them!!!

Azzrian

Oh yes I do enjoy them and will prize them as well! They are lovely. :) Don’t worry about it Garret – I was confused at first where the other Yixing was and then saw the tea and realized the confusion lol kind of funny really.

Thomas Smith

What tea are you seasoning the pot with/for?

Azzrian

Seasoning for Shu – will do Sheng in the other yixing when i get it.
I used Bu Lang Gong Ting from Mandala to start the process.

Kittenna

Azzrian – are these like the Fengqing Black Pearls from Teavivre? Also – I love white rabbit candies!!! I can eat a whole bag (probably) in one sitting, but I haven’t had them in a while. Perhaps when I’m visiting my parents in a couple weeks I can convince them to get some :D

Azzrian

I don’t know I don’t think I even have those – if I do I have not tapped into them yet. Unless I did and forgot about it. I really don’t think I have tried these yet.

Thomas Smith

Shu Puerh seasons so nice and easily and you don’t really need to work about pot material as long as it’s an fixing pot rather than a terra cotta mimic (shape and size is still important, though). I didn’t realize how lucky I got with my first Sheng pot, though, until I tried seasoning three more pots for gifts and found a lot of issues depending on material. Wound up keeping one and only use it for tea that’s 20+ years old since it’s a great pot but doesn’t work well at all for younger tea.

Thomas Smith

Gah, stupid autocorrect. work=worry, fixing=yixing

Azzrian

LOL yeah I knew what ya meant but yes auto correct can be a pain sometimes!
How many pots do you have?

Thomas Smith

Currently just 9 yixing pots since I season and give some away as gifts and am down to my personal use ones (I just sold two other personal use ones, which I won’t list here). 100mL Zi Ni Squat Modified Shi Piao for loose, small leaf Shu Puerh; 220mL Zi Ni Shi Piao for larger leaf and compressed Shu Puerh; 220mL Duan Ni Rounded Shi Piao for young Sheng Puerh; 110mL Zhu Ni pearl-shaped pot for traditional style Tieguanyin; 180mL Zi Ni Rong Tian for Fenghuang Dancongs; 180mL aged coarse Zhu Ni Rong Tian for Da Hong Pao; 180mL “Black Zhu Ni” (I think it’s just very dark Zi Ni, really) Rong Tian for roasty Wuyi Yancha, Shui Xian, and Rou Gui; 110mL thin-walled Zhu Ni Rong Tian for non-roasty Gaoshan Oolongs; 150mL Qing Hui Ni Shi Piao for 20+ year old Sheng Puerh (paired with matching cups).

Azzrian

Well you are WAY WAY ahead of me LOL I am still a youngin when it comes to yixing but learning all I can :)

TeaBrat

I only have two right now – for wuyi oolongs and for sheng, but I need one more at least for shu. I am not quite as advanced at Thomas, here. :D

Azzrian

I just have the one still lol getting one more from mandala on payday for shu and maybe another for oolong but I think THINK I will stop there. Then again I have said that about teas before too :)

Thomas Smith

Ultimately it’s best to just have ‘em for the teas you enjoy by yourself on a very frequent basis. I’m kinda bummed how little I use my Gaoshan pots (just sold one for the roastier Gaoshans that I drink more frequently). I also wish I used my aged puerh pot more, but that’s an issue of supply rather than demand ;p
I definitely recommend matching the shape to the tea, though. Rounder with a higher lid clearance for teas that will expand or (more importantly) have a greater amount of light aromatics to retain; more squat and larger volume for allowing settling and opening of compressed teas while retaining temperature.

@Amy: So says the person with more than 10x the reviews on here, hahaha.

Azzrian

Now that is some sound advice! I never thought about shape before! Thank you!

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Profile

Bio

Most of my reviews will be “snippits” of full reviews that can be found at http://sororiteasisters.com/
Posted every evening at 6 EST.
I usually try to post the exact date that the full reviews will post however sometimes post dates need changed so it may not always be correct. Generally the dates are correct however.

About Me:

Most of my reviews, although not all, will be quite favorable of the tea. This is not because all tea is excellent, but more so because I generally will not waste my time on an inferior tea. If I do not care for a tea I won’t continue to drink it let alone spend time reviewing it. If you see a review by me you basically know it is a quality tea. Granted it may not suit your specific taste buds, we all like different things, but as for a tea on the whole it is a good one, from a good company.

I am a spiritual advisor by profession.
I have two “young adult” children.
Four cats and three dogs.

Some of my hobbies include gardening, essential oil therapy, natural perfumery with essential oils, and cooking.

I look for complexity overall in any tea, dimensions to the flavors.

I believe tea should evoke a feeling, thought, emotion, or attitude.

I enjoy most all oolongs, blacks, whites, and greens.

I always love to try a good yellow tea.

I favor unadulterated teas but I do have my longings for a good flavored tea now and then so I don’t rule them out by any means!

I enjoy green rooibos don not like red rooibos.

Find me on facebook and twitter – Azzrian Visions

Location

Kansas

Website

http://www.azzrianvisions.com

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